The wait is on…

What do you do when you are over a year and a half out from your wedding and you are just so excited to be doing something but there isn’t a lot you can do??

Spend hours a day on the internet learning everything you can about wedding planning, I guess. So this week not a lot has happened.

We have gone to 3 different Ben Bridge locations, a Tiffany’s retailer, Kay Jewelers, and Zales. I really never thought I would want to have a big central stone or a set. I was thinking a medium width white gold band with some inset diamonds. After a few trips to the jeweler I have surprised myself by falling in love with giant rings and rose gold. I may need to get a second job with a jeweler to pay for this new love for sparkly rings. The first time we went Amanda found a ring she liked right away, and she has been looking at the same ring every time we go to a different Ben Bridge. I found a rose gold band with morganite stones halo’d in diamonds that I really liked but the width of the stones is a little too wide for me and it rubs against the inside of my fingers… not the end of the world but maybe not the ring even though I thought it was really pretty. I tried on several bands while we were there and of course LOVED the $5000 radiant cut diamond 5 stone platinum band, but it is way out of our first ring budget. So I tried some other styles as well and learned that I do actually love all the sparkly big rings. Here are a few I have tried on so far…

And here are some Amanda has tried… This first is the one she likes very best!

We did go try on some more rings last week and I found one I really love. The jeweler was kinda putting some pressure on us- which is the first time this has happened… just warning that this ring might not be around if we try to wait until closer to the wedding to buy it and that rose gold and morganite is not a super common combination for wedding sets so we might not be able to find something I like as much if it sells out. One of the previous Ben Bridge jewelers we tried on rings with had told us that if we saw anything online that we liked we could let her know and she would get it in to the store for us to try on. We both really liked her so I emailed her and asked if she would be able to get that ring and one other for me to try. I feel like she would be more honest with me about the likelihood of this ring disappearing and I know if she is holding it in a store for me to try on it buys me a little more time at least.

I felt like with my dress I had to make a snap decision. I don’t regret buying it but it felt like a now or never kind of situation and I don’t want our rings to feel that way. I want to feel like we have time to really think about what we want and try on a lot of rings and styles. Amanda is still pretty sold on her ring right now but I think she still wants to browse a bit and I don’t think her ring is at risk of being discontinued. Hopefully we get a chance to go to a few more jewelers and try on more styles before I need to make a decision. One major plus is that if I get a set like this I can start wearing the engagement ring part as soon as we get it, instead of having to wait until after we get married like I would if I just get a band. I can’t wait to wear that pretty pink ring!

So that is ring shopping so far… Even if you are not engaged or in the market for a ring I would recommend going and trying on some rings for fun! You never know, you may realize that you love sparkly things too.

Also a final note on this- we have really liked the staff and experience with Ben Bridge so far- minus the one pushy sales person who may very well have been looking out for me… They haven’t turned up their noses at our smallish budget, instead they have been finding rings that work in our price range and offering options like lay-away and financing. They have a great upgrade program for diamond rings where you can bring your ring (you purchased from them) in and get the value you paid for it towards a ring of 2x the value or more when you are ready to upgrade. I don’t think I would part with my ring I was married with but it is a nice option for someone who isn’t as sentimental. They have also been very friendly and welcoming to two brides ❤

Update: I got the ring!! I decided on the rose gold with the pink morganite tear shaped stone. Best part is that I get to wear the engagement ring portion immediately. I am very pink and sparkly.

This week in wedding planning: I bought a dress!

Some other stuff happened too…

  • we went to the hardware store and grabbed paint swatches so we could get an idea of colors we like
  • put together some potential color sets to show our BM’s and MOH’s and get their feedback
  • we tried on a few more rings- I am falling for rose gold and starting to think I want a wedding set rather than just a band
  • I was able to give one of my bridesmaids her proposal and she said “yes!”

The big news is the dress though really. It is super surreal to know my wedding dress is in the closet in our room. Amanda and I decided we wanted to have each others opinions on our attire so I showed her my dress via photo along with the dresses I did not chose. When I told her it was now here in the closet she got excited- it was very cute… and when I got it out and showed her the top so she could see the beading and the shade/tone of white we needed to match she was suitably gushy about how beautiful it was ❤ I couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction (thanks love, if you read this). We are waiting to wear our clothes in front of each other until our wedding day but I think it was really nice to be able share the excitement via photo. I am a terrible secret keeper.

I was not planning on buying a dress so soon, and not from a store most likely. My plan was to get one used, likely online… but I had no idea what size I was or what would look nice on me. I read all these online articles that mostly convinced me that because I am short and I have a booty that nothing would look ok on me. My (confirmed) bridesmaid Shea convinced me to try some on even if I just went alone. She said when she was trying on dresses she found that most of the stuff she read online about her body type didn’t hold true.

I am a take action kind of person so I pretty much immediately made an appointment for the next day. I have big gaps of free time mid day, and other than Shea none of my party live in town, so I figured I could just go alone and try some stuff on to get some ideas- I wasn’t going to find my dress for a while…

I decided to go to Alfred Angelo because I wanted to try on the Disney collection (why not, right??) and I knew that it was possibly not going to be continued so I wanted to see it in person. I went in and they were pretty slow so all the really nice girls working helped me to pick some dresses. They were very knowledgable about what they had and helpful, which was good because I came in basically saying “dress me!”

I told them I liked the idea of a ball gown but didn’t know if I was too short to wear one and that I was open to ANYTHING that looked good on me. I was probably a pain because I wouldn’t narrow anything down… lace? sure! beading? why not? color? whatever! They set aside 4 dresses for me including the Disney Cinderella dress they had. This store sells only off the rack, but they were having a sale of 50% off all samples, so everything I tried on was half price!

The first dress was terrible- I didn’t even take a picture… it was almost a nude champaign color and it blended in with my skin too much. The next was a mermaid, which was pretty actually- would have needed some alterations around the waist and hips, but was very hard to walk in. The next was my beautiful dress! The Alfred Angelo Signature Ballgown. I knew when I stepped in front of the mirror that it was special. It just felt so good on and it made me feel like a princess, but like a sophisticated princess. I told her it would be hard for her to find something I liked better… I tried on the Cinderella dress next, which was also very pretty but just didn’t do as much for me. I learned I really like trying on fancy princess dresses.

It was really hard to leave my dress in the store that day. My MIL convinced me to sleep on it and go try on dresses somewhere else and I think she was right because it made me very certain that I was making the right decision when I went back in the next day and bought it!

On my MIL’s advice I also went to David’s Bridal to try on a few dresses and see how solid my conviction about the other dress was. I told them my budget was the same price or less than the AA dress. I tried on 4 dresses there, 3 in my budget and one Vera Wang ballgown that was a little over double. I found one $600 dress that I liked but the material just felt cheap… it fit well but it was very little girl princess-y and it felt a little scratchy. The VW dress was pretty but wasn’t any more special than my AA dress and was more expensive.

I went back to Alfred Angelo, all the girls laughed when I walked back in not more than 24 hours later. They asked if I wanted to try on my dress again and I did. It was just as beautiful as I remembered and I didn’t want to leave without it again. Upon the advice of a girl from the DISbride Facebook Group I checked all the beadwork and stitching carefully since it had been a sample. There were about 5 spots with loose beads or beads that had come off so the girls gave me a whole bunch of matching replacement beads. My mom, who is a talented tapestry beadworker, had offered to embellish a veil for me, but since I don’t want a veil she is going to fix up my dress top instead!

It will be an expensive alteration to hem it, but I just love the bottom and I think it is worth it especially considering I saved almost $700 on it! Here are some photos of the dresses I tried on.

And here is the dress I got, with a close up of the skirting. Even with 5 inch heels I will have to have about a half foot of fabric removed. Hopefully it doesn’t change the look of the layering in the skirt.

This week in wedding planning: 20 months and 2 weeks?

Since we don’t have an exact date for our wedding yet I am just going for a best guess… This week:

  • Started a Wedding Binder
  • Window shopped for rings
  • Decided on our wedding party
  • Made some priority lists
  • Created fun Bridesmaid proposal gifts

So I guess in this post I will cover how I went about creating a wedding binder. I know our wedding is a long way out but when I think of the HUGE amount of planning that needs to be done it’s hard to do nothing and wait for the “appropriate time” to start planning.

I am an over planner maybe? Or at least an enthusiastic planner, and I am excited so I need to be doing something. I thought it would be good to start a physical planner… Pinterest is great for pooling ideas but it isn’t as organized as an actual journal or book. I looked to pinterest and google for advice and found some ideas and free printables… not a ton that worked for me but I stole bits and pieces from a bunch of spots and then created my own when I couldn’t find anything I liked.

A great resource for planning a wedding at disneyland is This Fairy Tale Life. That site has some planning lists and “what you need to know”‘s specifically for a DL wedding. I grabbed the checklist from there and started making a list of the tabs I would need in my binder… Took a few revisions but I think I have the set-up the way I want it. Hopefully this is helpful for anyone making a wedding binder for a Disney wedding or any other wedding.

My categories are

General Information

  • Planning (schedules and calendars)
  • Vibes (colors, themes, atmosphere)
  • Misc

Serious Business

  • Budget
  • Vendors
  • Contracts

Guests

  • Guest List (contact info and rsvp)
  • Invitations (ideas and drafts)
  • Guest Experience (enhancement ideas, favors, etc)

Wedding

  • Venues (ideas and photos of possible venues for both ceremony and reception)
  • Ceremony (schedule, decor, rehearsal info, music)
  • Reception (decor, ideas, timeline, music)
  • Catering (food, cake, booze)

Attire

  • Clothes (for both of us)
  • Rings
  • Wedding Party Attire

 

I found that for our wedding this was the best way for me to break down and organize ideas and information in a format that was easy for my to find and utilize. Here are some photos as well…

 

Two engagement rings…

After some thought and a few days of engagement bliss Amanda and I decided that I should have an engagement ring as well… I mean we are both the bride, and the bride should get to wear an engagement ring, right?? Who knows… we just both wanted to have a visible token of our engagement, and since we can do whatever we want we did. I got a matching smaller width tungsten ring to go with hers. I returned the two previously purchased rings that did not fit her and ordered my ring. I know I mentioned before, but the ring company we purchased from (EMBR) was really helpful and easy to work with. The rings are inexpensive, the company is great with communication, and they deliver quickly. When we got my ring Amanda wanted to put it on me, so she took her turn proposing, and of course I said yes 😉

Here are our two rings together and I like mine so much I will probably just switch it to my right hand when I get my wedding ring.

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