My Late-Night Review of Another Bridal Show

It’s the night before I’m off on a two week trip to Oklahoma and I’m not tired! So naturally I thought I’d update the blog to see if that would contribute to some Zzzs. All kidding aside, my FI is up too and I wanted to update you all on the second bridal show I attended while I had the opportunity.

Today was a smaller show at a hotel, but it was pretty unique. I went with a colleague which was nice because I had someone to talk to while going through it all. And while we did notice that it seemed focused on venues and catering, the silver lining was tons of food and drinks. Um, just to name a few of the things I ate/drank today:

A super cute wedding coaster from a McMenamins booth
  • Mango cardamom greek yogurt smoothie
  • Rosemary beef onion skewer
  • Various profiteroles (delicious sweet & savory!)
  • Key lime martini
  • McMenamins Ruby ale
  • Champagne
  • Various cupcakes
  • Strawberry cocktail
  • Tuna tartar philo cup

And many more. It was a great day for sampling what caterers had to offer. There were a ton of mock ceremony/reception set ups so you could really experience different looks. Of course many of the booths were holding drawings, so there were many possible free or reduced price items to win.

Read moreMy Late-Night Review of Another Bridal Show

In Defense of David’s Bridal (sort of)

Last weekend, I successfully completed my first day of dress shopping. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, so my goals were:

  1. See what silhouette looked best on me. When I researched, I settled on A-line, also known as the silhouette that fits virtually anyone, but I was willing to try different styles just to see what happened.
  2. See what price range was realistic for the type of dress that looked good on me. I had a certain amount in my budget, but wanted to actually see what different priced dresses looked like before I settled on what was doable.

I made two appointments for last Saturday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning appointment was for David’s Bridal, and the afternoon was at a smaller designer-owned boutique on the west side of Portland.

My mom went with me to the first appointment and I must say – I’m glad we arrived early. We got a parking spot at the very front of the store, but very soon realized that there were at least 10 other groups coming to try on dresses. First note about DB – they are huge, and book many appointments at one time. I thought I would get around that by booking at the beginning of the day, but other people had the same idea. Additionally, everyone else had multiple people with them. The store was packed! But moving on…

Read moreIn Defense of David’s Bridal (sort of)

I Swear I’m Not an Alcoholic! (or, How I Learned to Multitask my Budget)

A few weeks ago I set aside a collection of neat glass holders (mason jars, wine bottles, etc.) that I wanted to use to cut down on the costs of centerpieces and other decorations at the wedding. I had three large, unique mason jars and five varying sizes of wine bottles. Fast forward to now, where I have those three same mason jars, and now ten (one unopened) wine bottles and a new found collection of flower vases I’ve collected over the years.

But let’s focus on the wine bottles. They’ve double in size in a few weeks and I’m beginning to think I can stop collecting at some point (probably now). But it reminded me that this is the type of thing that helps you stay within a budget. I’m not spending a ton on this wine, I would’ve bought it anyway, and best of all – I’m reusing these (and they’ll look pretty cute, so won’t be thrown away).

Yarn of different colors and textures wrapped around wine bottles

I’m pretty confident in my ability to craft something wedding-worthy (as long as it doesn’t involve sewing). I’m also willing to just go for something if I’m convinced it will be worth it. Enter – again – the wine bottles. Thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest, I have tons of inspiration for how to reuse a wine bottle or mason jar to make something rustic, casual/semi-formal, and elegant – all at the same time. And it doesn’t matter if you prefer red wine, or beer, or even a tinted food jar. If it’s a cool shape, the yarn or twine will cover the color of the glass and will enable you to transform a bottle of two-buck Chuck into a vessel to store berries, flowers, sticks, etc. – whatever captures the theme of your special day.

Read moreI Swear I’m Not an Alcoholic! (or, How I Learned to Multitask my Budget)

The Power of the People

I still haven’t set an official date, nor do I have a location or photographer. What I’m beginning to realize I do have is the power of the people. I could go on and on about the pricelessness of humans, and how there are fundamental things wrong with society because of how we “rent time” from people. But I’ll save you the labor philosophy diatribe.

What I’m talking about is the whole “it takes a village” concept. If you know me, you know that I’d usually rather just do something myself instead of trusting someone else. It’s probably a character flaw, but I have a bit of a relinquishing-control issue. I deal with it pretty well, usually. But a budget wedding is anything but usual. I’m in hyper-vigilant mode and convinced I have to figure everything out myself. Sometimes it takes multiple reminders that other people want to (and should) help.

Let’s count the people who want to help: three FSILs (including MoH), two bridesmaids (BMs – ha ha (yes, I’m a 12-year-old)), a mother, a FMIL, two coworkers, multiple family members, and of course other friends. We’re talking upwards of 10-15 people. Do you know what a nonprofit organization can do with 10-15 people? They can change the world! And I’m just wanting to plan a wedding.

Read moreThe Power of the People

My (Not So) Fair(ly Priced) Wedding

Since I’ve been engaged, I’ve used my free time (read: multi-tasking time) to catch up on all of those bridal TV shows that I didn’t watch without a ring. Since Netflix has quite a selection to choose from, I’ve started watching shows like Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, Bridezillas, and even the one season of Bridalplasty. Since I tired of Bridezillas, and am waiting for new episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, I needed a new show. Enter My Fair Wedding.

From WE’s about the show page:

“A bride knows what she wants for her wedding — the dress, the flowers, even the icing on the cake! But with only a few weeks before the big day, celebrity event planner David Tutera shows up and changes everything. How exactly will he tackle these brides’ outlandish ideas to give them a wedding beyond their imagination? David sits down with the bride, he learns her style, likes and dislikes before taking over everything, creating her fairytale wedding in a short period of time.”

And when you watch the show, you quickly fall for David, a great wedding planner, who is saving these poor ignorant brides from certain demise on their wedding day. Even some of the brides are just so kind and unassuming that you just want to give them a hug and say, “David’s here, he’ll fix it – it will all be okay.”

And then season 2 episode 1 happened.

Read moreMy (Not So) Fair(ly Priced) Wedding