Thursday, June 25, 2009

on a semi-related note...

On Monday Kenny and I will participate in a wedding photography workshop in Natick, MA. We got the opportunity because my mum is going to the workshop and heard that they needed models. She immediately emailed me and I contacted the instructor and he said he'd be delighted to have Kenny and I participate! I am really excited; Kenny is very tolerant haha. I doubt this is what he really wants to do on a day off, but we are being compensated and it will be a great experience for both of us (at least that's what I keep telling him).

The workshop is for professional photographers to go to to learn lighting and posing techniques specifically geared towards wedding photography. Kenny and I will be the "bride and groom" and pose for all the photographers. I am excited because I get to dress up like a bride for the day and I might also meet a photographer whom I want to hire for my wedding, since I have not found one yet. Again I know I am jumping the gun a bit here because we haven't booked a venue (still working on that) but it doesn't hurt to do some research.

I mentioned I have to dress up like a bride for the day. Well clearly I am not going to wear my wedding dress a) because it's still off being cleaned and b) Kenny cannot see the dress! so a friend hooked me up with her cousin's wedding dress that she got married in two years ago and what do you know! it fits perfectly!!

(Please don't pay any attention to our room or me...I had just worked a 12 hour shift)

Not bad, huh?! Kenny will wear a suit that he already has that he looks so handsome in. I'll be interested to see how these photos come out.

I was feeling a bit crafty the other night (always a dangerous thing) and I decided to make my own birdcage veil. I want to wear a more traditional veil on my wedding day but I thought that the birdcage veils looked easy to make and they are pretty. They sell for about $80-100 but I thought I could make one for around $20. I went to Michael's and got all the supplies I needed for just under $20 and got to work. It took a few hours but for my first try I don't think it's bad!

So it started as a plain comb, loose beads and feathers, and bulk netting. I attached the netting first and then sewed all of the beads, pearls, and feathers onto the comb. Then I secured the feathers with a few dabs of crazy glue because they would have fallen out easily had I not.

It's difficult taking a photo of yourself in a mirror but you get the idea. It covers to the top of my lips and then goes across my face covering both eyes. Pretty snazzy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

fun, non-floral centerpieces to fit our budget and colour scheme

We estimate that we will have about twelve tables at our wedding. Floral centerpieces for all twelve tables would be between $700 and $1500 depending on what flowers we wanted. I know I'm going to have to figure out where I can start trimming the budget (oh darn) so I have been looking at non-floral centerpieces online. I've found that I actually like the centerpieces with no flowers better than those with flowers!

I love this fabulous fish centerpiece that I saw featured here. It has a bit of height, it's something nice to look at in the center of the table that will last (hopefully) longer than cut flowers will after the wedding is over, and each centerpiece could be raffled to a guest at the table so that the winner could take home a nice beta fish for a pet.

Another fun and fresh idea is using citrus fruits. If we have green as our colour, I would love to use lemons since the yellow will go well with it. I keep hearing that my wedding decor should go along with the month we are getting married in. I think this is true to a certain extent but I am not going to write off a really great idea just because it doesn't "feel" like September. A centerpiece like this would add height colour and fun to the tables, and generally in RI it's still so nice and warm even in September that I'm sure it would go well.

Photo Credit

I also love curling vines like these curly willow clippings. These have orchid blooms attached to them and they almost look like dogwood. Beautiful!

Depending on the kind of venue we end up booking, I also really love lanterns, but that may be too rustic for some of the places we are considering.

I am thinking about using the colours above as our colour scheme but can't decide if I might replace the yellow with a cream colour. I would love a sage green for bridesmaid's dresses and then purple and yellow (or cream) flowers in the bouquets. Deep purple table cloths (or a more traditional off-white) would tie everything together.

I think I might like this palette better.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cultural Center in Fall River, MA

Last night we ventured out to Fall River, MA to see the Cultural Center. The photos online looked beautiful and very elegant, but when we got there we were disappointed. Maybe it was that we saw it in the day light instead of all lit up at night, or maybe it was that it was set up for a wedding that's tonight and the wedding colours were cream and hot, hot pink. Either way we walked in and kind of wanted to walk back out. It just wasn't us. Also, we are really hoping to have the ceremony at the reception site and the only two options at the CC for ceremonies are either to have it in the ball room (up on a stage?? it felt way too high school gymnasium) or out in the foyer (also very strange). In the end we decided to stay and talk to the people there and at least get an idea of prices since we drove an hour to get there.

The Center had several packages starting from $65/pp going to $115/pp, or couples were able to create a personalized menu. The food looked good and the higher priced packages included bar, photographer, and other amenities that other venues we've looked at or talked to charge extra for or don't even provide. I thought the packages were very reasonable, and the people there were nice and helpful. The owner was the one who actually showed us around.

If anything, the trip there was good because it helped us decide that we want a country setting for our reception, not an urban one.

Here are some photos of the Cultural Center:

The entrance way. The white curtains are not included with the rental of the hall but are available through a local Fall River florist.

The ballroom area

The bar area, which is located out in the foyer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The dress

It took three trips and hundreds of miles of driving but I finally picked out my wedding gown on Wednesday at Vows Bridal in Newton, MA.

When Kenny and I first got engaged last year, my mum and I were so excited that we immediately arranged to go dress shopping at Vows. I tried on lots of dresses but didn't quite know what I wanted and it was so early that I didn't pick any of them. It was a great trip and the sales people were so helpful, and I always appreciated their patience with me. They probably knew as soon as I walked in the door with a brand new diamond ring that I wasn't going to buy anything that day but they still treated me well and were willing to talk to me and spend time helping me pick out dresses. The best part about Vows is that the dresses are all designer and couture sample dresses. They are SOO beautiful. You get the brand names that people rave about but since the dresses are samples, you do not pay the same hefty price. You can't argue with that!!

After the first shopping experience, I waited quite a while before going out a second time. My mum and I were out in Nashua, NH and we decided to stop in at David's Bridal to see what they had. I tried a few on and really liked one but I didn't purchase it because I just didn't get the "this is the one!" feeling from it. It was lovely, though.

Then about a month and a half later I arranged a girls day out to a store in Southern MA. I won't specify what store it is because it was terrible. The sales associate was awful and overly opinionated. I loved one of the dresses I tried on but it was beaded very heavily and when I put my arms down, the beading scratched my arms a lot and it was pretty uncomfortable.

Finally, on Wednesday I had an appointment at Vows again to see one particular dress I had found online. The one I was interested in was a Melissa Sweet and was very soft and beautiful, but when I tried it on I didn't like it as much. Unfortunately that meant I had to try on a bunch more (I was really hoping to just love it and be done with it!) but in the end it paid off. I am glad I waited and went back to Vows because I found the absolute perfect dress for me! The dress I'm wearing in the photo is the runner-up, since I don't want Kenny to accidently see the winner :)

It was such a great feeling to say "This is the one!" All of my girlfriends were so excited. My mum loves the dress, and in fact she had pulled it off a shelf for me to try on.

We put a down payment on the dress and I have a week to decide if I actually want it. After a week they send it out to be cleaned and any minor repairs needed are made, and then in 3-4 weeks it's mine to take home! I will get it altered closer to home since Newton is kind of a trek.

The great venue search

Kenny and I are planning for a September 2010 wedding and already we are realising that we are under a time crunch, even with over a year left before the big day!

The biggest thing for me is picking a venue. Earlier in the week we finally went and actually looked at a venue in Newport after weeks of emailing around and getting astronomical numbers back for quotes. If I could offer anyone advise who is looking to plan a wedding, I'd say actually go to the places and talk to them in person before you write a venue off as too expensive. Within the first twenty minutes, the woman at this particular venue in Newport had dropped the price almost $4,000. Unfortunately it was still at the very top of our budget for a venue and if we had an unexpectedly large number of people RSVP yes, it would be too expensive.

To the left is a photo of the venue we went to in Newport, called The Ocean Cliff. I have to say it was so stunningly beautiful and the woman who met with us was very helpful and spent almost two hours talking us through the whole process. The ballroom in the photo overlooks the Narragansett Bay with the Newport Bridge in the background. If I could get married anywhere, this would be it, but that seems not to be in the cards.

So it is back to the drawing board for us. Yesterday we visited the Ledgemont Country Club in Seekonk, MA, right over the RI border. It was a very nice facility with a huge golf course, a pool, a large patio, and a nice ball room. It just couldn't imagine myself getting married there. First, the golf course was beautiful but they didn't have any little picturesque spots for photos...just the greens. Kenny of course was in Heaven and he was pretty disappointed that I didn't love it. I haven't completely ruled it out but I can't say it ranks high with the other venues we are scheduled to look at.

The sitting room area at Ledgemont

Tonight after I get out of work we have an appointment to go see the Cultural Center in Fall River, MA. I wanted to look at an urban venue since most of the others we have talked about are either in the country or on the beach. I have heard a lot of good things about the Cultural Center, and the photos online of it all done up for a reception are really striking. I love the tall ceilings and large open area. We'll see how they size up next to some of the other places we've seen or plan to see.