Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What About The Dress?

I spent most of middle school sketching wedding dress designs, in the hopes of becoming a famous fashion designer one day. I gave up that dream for writing, but never stopped loving bridal gowns.

So, I knew the dress would be a big focus for me when wedding planning. I didn't exactly want to shop at the bigger bridal chain stores tailoring themselves to women on a budget. I wanted an interesting and elegant design and great quality fabric. But again, I couldn't break the bank.

Lucky for me, Vows Bridal Outlet in Watertown, MA, is just a 20-minute drive away. Vows carries a mix of samples and past season styles from some of the big names in bridal fashion: Vera, Priscilla, Monique, and more. They also have lines from a few other select designers.

And even luckier for me, this place was just as good as it sounds. Customer service was not lacking and the array and quality of the gowns was truly gorgeous. I was able to find my dress there, the first place I visited.

I won't give away too many details, but I found exactly what I was looking for. Not too adorned, simple but still sexy and elegant. I definitely recommend Vows to girls who are looking for more options for their budget!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Doomchika Explained

I realized that if people ever started reading this blog, the name could seem weird.

So here's the story. When Mr. and I first started dating, he randomly used to make this funny beatbox sound, going "doomchika doomchika doomchika" repeatedly. I thought it was hilarious. I started calling him by that name.

We even set up a Tumblr by that name, where we'd track inspiration and tidbits of things we'd like, from furniture to art to recipes to funny sayings. Then we got busy with life and wedding planning, and much of my inspiration tracking now takes place on Pinterest.

So now Doom (for short) has made its way over to Blogger. That's it. :)

Florist: Craigslist Win!

Of all the weddding blogs I scour each day, there's one that I know I will most directly be able to pull practical tips from: The Budget Savvy Bride. It features a crop of real brides who are trying to plan adorable weddings on a modest budget. They share the ins and outs of their planing process---from venue selection and dress shopping, to making wedding favors and actually saying I Do!

One bride blogged about how she was hard-pressed to find the right venue for her budget, so she turned to Craigslist and discovered a site that doesn't brand itself as a wedding spot, but was perfect for her occasion. Mr. and I had been making good progress on lining up vendors, but at the time of reading this, I was still unsure what to do about a florist. I knew we didn't have a huge budget for it, so a traditional wedding florist was out of the question. DIY seemed intriguing but also a bit daunting.

So I typed searched florist on Craigslists, and landed on an post from Kiwi Cabbage, a small, relatively young florist service run by a married couple. They got into the business when they started doing flowers for their wedding last year and had some adorable examples on the website.

This is where it gets great. Because our floral budget was small, I had given up the dream of pricey flowers like lillies and poked around for inspiration on Pinterest and wedding blogs to find more modest bouquets and arrangements with blooms that would be in season in the fall.

These were some ideas I came across:










I had found so far that most florists more or less sneered at my budget when I inquired about their services, without so much as thinking about what I was actually asking for. I knew it wasn't extravagant, and I had already looked into bulk prices on the stems I wanted, just to get a ballpark.

I wrote Kiwi with an explanation of what I was looking for and my budget, and hours later I heard back. Not with a rejection, or an attempt at convincing me to spend more money. The florist told me the budget would be tight but doable, and that he'd be willing to work with it, especially given the size of arrangements I wanted and the types of flowers, which by the way, were different types of mums, aster, and some dahlias here and there.

We met within a week or so at a Boston coffee shop to discuss more in depth and the next day he had e-mailed me an estimate, which was just over my budget, but only because of tax. I was sold. I'm so excited to work with Kiwi. This was another wedding vendor I came across where I felt like I got star treatment while staying true to a budget. People, it can be done!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Save the Dates

We sent ours out earlier this month. Mr. Doomchika is a super talented graphic designer and photographer. We showcased both of those skills in these cards. The photos come from some random tests shots we did while setting up a photobooth at a wedding he captured earlier this summer. And he designed the layout and look of the cards from scratch!

We're most likely sending our invites out in about a month, so I was on the fence on whether to do Save the Dates at all (Side note: I want to abbreviate Save the Dates, but the letters you could shorten it to are hilariously inappropriate! Mr. Doomchika and I use it plenty in conversation, though...). We decided to go for it, and I'm so happy we did! Even though most guests were already told when the wedding is, I think they're happy to have something to tack onto their fridge. And for our guests who haven't actually seen us much as a couple or don't know one of us well, I think the card is a great photo peek inside our relationship: fun, spontaneous, joyful, and full of love!

Take a look.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Something (Navy) Blue

My something blue is my bridesmaids. No, they're not smurfs, but they'll be donned a lovely shade of navy.

We just ordered their dresses this week, and it was an absolute breeze! As much as I secretly wanted to torture them with a long day in a dress shop with lots of shiny, puffy, and all-around-horrific frocks, we found this chic, adorable, and affordable online site.

One of my bridesmaids was smart and shoved a dress option in my face right off the bat, a cute one that she and the others would actually want to wear. I loved it! It's classy, fun, preppy, and unique---all vibes I am going for in our wedding. The only problem was that it is part of Alfred Sung's collection that had not yet hit stores.

Most of the bridal blogs I read are mainly to salivate over something I can never have, mainly weddings and vendors that blow my budget by a factor of four. But, last week I was taking my lunch break and scanning through my feeds, and I found a great write-up on this website offering an adorably curated collection of dresses, and even discounts for bridesmaids who ordered in a pack! I had been stressfully wondering when exactly the Alfred Sung styles we loved so much would be actually available in stores, so I clicked through to see what Joielle had to offer. Lo and behold, the fun cocktail-length, cap-sleeve dress was on their first page of bridesmaid attire! It was meant to be.



The site even had a ship date, which was the first concrete information I had found anywhere on when these dresses would be available. So I e-mailed Joielle to figure out if this ship date would get the frocks to the girls in time for alterations before the wedding, and was honestly expecting some automated response. Instead I got a personalized message minutes later, and was able to send Tammy at Joielle questions back and forth throughout that week as I was mobilizing my girls to order their dresses and get them their 10 percent discounts.

I also ordered a small square swatch of the fabric in the mail, confirming the fabric and midnight color were just as lovely as I had hoped.

I felt like I had top-notch customer service and the feel of an intimate, upscale boutique with the convenience of e-commerce. Plus savings! My bargain-bred self is loving this. And I'm also trying to figure out which bridesmaid I can borrow this dress from in the future, because I love it that much.

Check out Joielle's blog for shots of real weddings with dresses ordered from them. The site carries other great bridal party designers, like Dessy, Lela Rose, Landa Designs, and Cynthia Rowley.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wekend Adventures

Last night Mr. Doomchika and I joined some friends for the fireworks at the esplanade in Boston, which, I'll venture to say, hosts one of the country's most epic Independence Day celebrations. We were so close under the explosions in the sky that the cooled ash rained on us after they went off.

That was after we had spent all day burning on the beach. And earlier in the weekend, we took a boat tour put on by the Boston Society of Architects. We learned that the very stretch of land along the Charles River that we would sit on to watch fireworks was in fact man-made in the 1800s, as the once-two-mile-wide river was filled in to accommodate a growing city population. We also learned (among many other things) that Long Wharf isn't so long anymore, comparatively speaking, but the name has stuck.

This may be a wedding-blog-ish-sort-of thing, but I want to remember that wedding planning is a small part of life, even in these next few months. It's great to take time to just be with the person you love and explore something new, and I think that's exactly what this weekend was all about. I'm thankful for the fun pockets of the city we learned more about, and for the time spent laughing with each other and friends.

Don't worry. I'll get back to telling you about my Save the Dates or something equally as enthralling soon enough. Meanwhile, check out this picture we took as our boat rolled under the Zakim Bridge.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hello.

I am engaged. I am reluctant to write this as the first sentence I am ever posting on this blog, because I am equally as reluctant to establish this as a wedding blog. But if the shoe fits...

My last blog was about a very particular season of my life. A season I thought would last for years (living in a house with nine other people). But last October, I was sitting in the back of church, spotted a cute guy, and made it a point to say hi to him. This coming October, I am marrying him...and moving out of my house. I am so stupidly blessed I can't even see straight sometimes.

So onto a new blog topic. This may mean I am capricious. I probably am. I don't like doing any one thing for a long time, and am always looking for the next thing. Well, except when it comes to men. I've found the one and he is perfect. Perfectly human and perfect for me. No superheroes in this situation.

My Google Reader fills up with about 60 posts a day from the dozens of different wedding blogs I've decided to follow for advice on crafts, etiquette, budgeting, and more. I know I've only begun to scratch the surface of the sea of wedding media that exists on the Interwebs, and I'm diving in, too. Much of this is because I'm itching to write creatively every day, and what better subject to write about? (At least for the moment...)

So what can you expect from this one? I'm hoping to share what I'm learning along the way about conceptualizing, planning, preparing, and transforming---into a wife that is. I don't want to write 500 words about shopping for doilies, but I do want to give nuggets on d├ęcor I've decide to go with and why, and point you to places that I've found to be helpful resources. I want to remember that the wedding event itself is actually small and symbolic of the beautifully profound commitment to bind yourself to another person for life. So I hope to write more about how I am preparing my heart and mind for this life transition than I do about how I am preparing my skin to look good on the big day

Stay tuned.