Monday, January 31, 2011

Fit and Fabulous!

Josh and I have been eating better in order to get in shape for the Big Day, but I decided I need a little more motivation. Cue one of my favorite bloggers: That Wife AKA Mrs. Avocado. She's having a weight loss challenge contest with the grand prize being a free photography session with her (she is  Jenna Cole Photography, too). I jumped at the chance to do this. Not only will I be losing weight, getting healthy, and getting in shape for the wedding, I also have a chance to win an amazing photography session with a talented photographer in Chicago! What a bonus! Even if I don't win, I'll still feel TONS better about myself in my dress.

I'll be using my Wii Fit and to track my nutrition and weight loss goals. Any tips for this website? I've never used it before. Any tips for weight loss and/or exercising for a busy gal like myself?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Picture Picture!

I couldn't really think of a title for this post, and then I was struck with a memory from Mr. Roger's  Neighborhood - His little TV thingy called Picture Picture! Don't ask me why I thought of that... But anyway! I'm sure you'd rather hear about our photographer.

After reading countless wedding blogs, I was convinced I knew what I wanted in a photographer. However, Josh and I are on a little bit of a tighter budget than what my dream photographers could fit in. Or so I thought. After scouring the Internet for any photographer I could find, I finally resorted to Craigslist. It was a last-ditch effort to find something that I would like.

And I did!

After emailing back and forth a few times, I confirmed a meeting with Jennifer at Emily-Waid Photography. Josh and I met up with her one day at a coffee shop, and we were floored with what we saw! Her portfolio of work looks even better in person than online, and she has such creative ideas! We booked her on the spot - and we even got a 15% discount! 

Our engagement pictures are this Saturday, and I'm SO looking forward to working with her. I can't wait to have a few shots of Josh and I that are as amazing as these:

And some wedding shots that are this fabulous:

All photos courtesy of Jennifer at Emily-Waid Photography.

I could not be more excited to have Jennifer photograph our wedding! If you're in this area, I highly recommend her :)
Did you find any vendor in an unlikely place? Did you use Craigslist for any of your wedding planning? How did it work out for you?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Get in My Belly!

That lovely title would be a quote from my sister... and it just seemed fitting for today's update.

Confession: We booked our reception venue around our caterer. Once we found a caterer that was affordable and had amazing looking food, we were hooked. We've decided to go with Adeline Leigh Catering. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to find a venue that allows outside caterers to come in. Once we found one, we were hooked (I’ll post about that later!). But seriously – check out these pictures from their website. How could you not want to eat every morsel of food!

  All photos courtesy of Adeline Leigh Catering

 Doesn't it look delicious! We had a tasting yesterday and got to sample some food. And our bonus for the night – Josh won a doorprize! We get $25 off of our catering package, which may not sound like a lot, but hey – every little bit helps!

So – for the important part - what did we decide about the food? We talked about doing a plated dinner early on in the planning process (read: before we were engaged), and thought that was the direction we were headed. However, the pricing got to us. The buffet option through Adeline Leigh was about $4 cheaper per person. $4x300 = $1200 of savings = Buffet it is!

The menu:
-Not fully decided yet, but these were what we liked –
Stuffed mushroom caps, shrimp and artichoke fondue appetizer, crab cakes, and beef empanadas (well, actually I was the only one who liked the empanadas)
We didn’t taste the bacon wrapped water chestnuts or pineapple, but that’s another thing we’re thinking about for appetizers.
Probably some chips and salsa and/or veggies and dip

Bourbon barbeque salmon
Beef tips in marsala sauce

Caesar salad
Asiago mashed Yukon potatoes (OMG to die for!)
Steamed and seasoned vegetable medley (we decided to design this one ourselves) – broccoli, yellow squash, and carrots

Wedding cake – duh! We sampled some delicious flavors last night.
I was fond of the spice cake with house filling (Bavarian crème mixed with “bettercream” frosting – soooo light and airy, perfect for a frosting-hater like myself!)
Josh liked the marble cake with chocolate mousse filling and buttercream frosting
The white cake was delicious, too! So many yummy options to pick from!

Did you end up choosing anything you hadn’t selected yet? What was your tasting experience like? Was it an individual or group setting?

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Great White Dress Search: Part 3

The big reveal:

Although I debated between the dress I chose and the dress I got stuck in (hereby re-named the Sausage Dress, because, well, that's what I looked like) for a little bit, my mind was truly made up. I knew that I liked the Sausage Dress, but I LOVED - pink puffy heart love - my dress. So which one was it?

Here it is! The name is 8634 - Romantic, right?

I couldn't stop thinking about this dress, and it was the dress that we compared all other dresses to. So, remember way back when I said I wouldn't buy anything because I had my heart set on a different dress that the boutique didn't have? Yeah... that rule went right out the window when I tried this dress on. Plus, since it was my first visit, the boutique threw in a free veil! I couldn't say no to that! 

Plus, I keep seeing it in magazines and getting butterflies. It's awesome to see my dress in a magazine ad!

So, what was your dress-hunting experience like? Did you have your heart set on something but ended up falling in love with something else? How many tries did it take to fine The One?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Great White Dress Search: Part 2.5

Subtitle: In which I get stuck in a dress.

Yes, really. I got stuck in a dress.

The sales lady gave me a beautiful, mermaid-style, white satin dress to try on. It was beautiful! I looked at it on the hanger. It was about two sizes too small, but I figured we could remedy that with a few clamps, right? WRONG. So, I get the dress on, and seriously contemplate buying it. It was so pretty and so figure-flattering. (Actually, at the end, it came down to this dress or the one I actually purchased).

As I pulled it over my head (because there was NO way it was going over my hips!) I realized it was getting a little snug. My arms were outstretched over my head, and they wouldn’t budge. I was officially stuck. I hopped up and down a little bit to try to get a little help from gravity, but to no avail. 

I was stuck.

Here I was, in a small dressing room, with a dress half-way off my body, arms outstretched over my head, not able to move. I started to laugh a little, and called for my sister to help tug the dress off of me. Then the giggles started – I couldn’t stop laughing! My sister opened the curtain-door and immediately was giggle-ridden as well. She could barely stand up because she was laughing so hard. Of course, this caused the sales lady to pop her head in and see what was going on. She took it upon herself to help me out of the dress – since nobody else could do it! I was finally free! But- let me tell you one thing- standing in front of your family and a sales lady in nothing but your undies is a humbling experience!

Next post: My big dress reveal!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Great White Dress Search: Part 2

When we left off, I had already chosen my perfect dress. However, I wouldn’t be able to try it on because the sample had been sold off-the-rack. I was sad.
Don't worry, Dawson. I'll be ok.  

Yet I trudged on! So, with the help of my sister, my mom, my stepmom, and Josh’s mom, I gathered quite a large selection of dresses and stuffed myself into a dressing room (with a very thin curtain-door, might I add…). I tried on the first one, walked out, saw myself in the mirror, and promptly walked myself back into the room. Yuck. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures; just trust me - the dress was bad. 

The second dress was definitely more promising. 

I loved the v-neck and the fit-n-flare style. It was the perfect mix of lace with a little bit of bling under the bust. Perfection!! That dress started the YES pile.

I tried on umpteen million more dresses – ok, maybe it was closer to fifteen. Some of my favorites included these non-strapless, lacy beauties:

So what did I choose? I guess you’ll have to wait for the big reveal! (Don’t worry, I’ll post it soon – I’m not good at keeping secrets!!)

all photos (except Dawson) courtesy of Allure