Sunday, June 30, 2013

Getting Ready that Southern Wedding's has shown my wedding :-) and I don't have to worry about photo rights or any of that stuff anymore, I'm ready to share photos!

After the rehearsal dinner at 18 Seaboard and afterparty at The Wine Feed, I ended up going to bed  a little after midnight.  Allison (sister), Ebony (bridesmaid), Andrea (singer) and I were staying in adjacent suites at the Hampton Inn on Glenwood-which was really nice by the way!  The hotel opened in November and had a really modern feel.

I woke up around 7:30 to Allison jumping on the bed "you're getting married today!"  Probably the best way anyone could ever wake up. :-)  I took a shower and we went downstairs to grab some breakfast.  Tiwa arrived around 8:30 do make-up; since she was doing 9 faces (me+bridesmaids+mom) she had to start pretty early.  Hooman showed up at the same time.  We designated my suite the hair suite and Ebony's the make-up suite.  The morning started off pretty quiet, the other bridesmaids weren't arriving until 10 and it was a good time just to soak it all in.

More details and pics in part 2!!!  Sorry for the lag in posts, I'm starting my internship year so things are pretty busy! :-)

Monday, June 10, 2013


My wedding was huge and my family and friends are amazing, so our registries received much love.  Here are some things that I see daily that make me so happy!

 Our kitchenaid mixer in aqua.  My mother's friend bought me this and she hasn't even seen me in 15 years.  AMAZING

Wedgwood China.  We were pretty luck and got 8 gorgeous place settings that now live in my grandmother's china cabinet in our dining room.  

A couple friends noticed we didn't register for crystal and took it on themselves to go in together and buy us red wine, white wine, champage and old fashioned glasses...also AMAZING.  

A it!  We juice every morning now.  Today we did strawberry+orange+pineapple+carrot+celery+kale.  As you see I like it healthy but still tasty!  We live near an Aldi so we can get produce for cheap prices so we don't go broke.

Aaron's favorite gift.  A smoker!  It is amazing and gets meat so tender.
Aaron made homemade bacon last week and this was a huge help :-)

Ramekins.  So inexpensive and fun.  I broke them in by making individual peach cobblers.

And when I want to jazz it up we have mini dutch ovens by Tramontina...much cheaper than the baby Staubs you often see.  

And the mama, the Le Creuset 5.5 dutch oven...actually this wasn't given to us but Aaron and I purchased it at Bed Bath & Beyond with gift cards last night during their registry completion event! I cannot wait to start cooking with this!!!

People are so nice when you get married....excuse me now, I need to go work on some more thank you cards!!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding the dress

So, finding THE dress!! Picking up where we left off...

One afternoon I decided to check out Victorian Rose.  It was a bridal store on Glenwood which has now moved to Cameron Village.  The store has a lot of mixed reviews-great selection, but the dresses aren't well cared for and poor customer service.  I didn't make an appointment but I did call roughly 30 minutes before I showed up, so they said to look around and someone would assist me shortly.

The store's selection was quite good.  They carry Watters, Wtoo, Tara Keely, Rosa Clara, Pronovias, Lazaro, Jim Hjelm, Allure, etc.  They had a lot of lace dresses which was a yay for me.  There price range is really broad too.  So for once I said I wanted a lace mermaid and got a handful of dresses.

I tried on Rosa Clara Laia...beautiful but not quite form fitting enough

And then there was this dress.  The Enzoani Dakota and it really stole my heart!

Here is another picture of the dress-easy to see why I fell in love with it, right?

I left Victorian Rose happily dreaming of the Dakota dress.  Was it the one? Since I went to this store alone, I'd have to bring my mom back and come see.  Speaking of which, I definitely enjoyed shopping with a small crowd.  The one time I did bring some friends, I found I didn't really appreciate the other opinions lol...all I wanted to know was what I thought about the dress. And as for those girls who worry about will the groom like the dress-pshh!!  Get what makes you happy and if he loves you he will think you are beautiful in anything!

Anyways!!  I also went to Poffie Girls in Gastonia, outside of Charlotte.  I was visiting Aaron's family and this is a well-known store in the area.  They carry Enzoani, Casablanca, Wtoo, Mori Lee...a lot of mid-range designers.  I would definitely recommend them to people in the area.

I tried on the Casablanca 2072...but I dislike embellished dresses.  I just wanted lace.

I tried on more dresses that I can't remember mainly because once again this store had the Enzoani Dakota and again, I was in love.  But I didn't want to commit until I went to Bridalmart, where my cousin got her dress from.

Bridalmart is a huge store in Burlington with a huge selection of dresses.  Some of the designers they carry are Allure, Casablanca, Watters, Wtoo and Mori Lee.  Inside there are just racks and racks of dresses arranged by style.  Bridalmart isn't the glamorous experience y'all-you pull the dress yourself and the dressing room is just one huge room-but it is the cost efficient experience!  They still order all your dresses new and the dresses they have were about $300 cheaper for the same dresses at Victorian Rose.  

So at Bridalmart with my aunt and mother we pulled and pulled and pulled dresses.  Thinking of the Enzoani Dakota, I rejected dresses and more dresses.  They did have a nice lace selection however.  And then my aunt pulled this dress.

horrible pic but all I got...Allure C202

Annnd I wasn't sure.  It had straps-"I'm so happy you won't be pulling your dress up all night!" my mom exclaimed.  And it was a little more trumpet than mermaid shaped.  But it was also a showstopper-random people at the store were coming up to me to compliment and ooo and aaah over the dress.  "It's your dress!" they said.  But I still wasn't sure and my mom hadn't seen the Enzoani dress yet.

Long story short, we went back to Victorian Rose to see the Enzoani together, Victorian Rose also offered to ordered the Allure dress (they carried the brand but not the dress), but in the end I decided to go to Bridalmart.  I'm not sure how I made up my mind between the two, but the lace on Allure dress was much more prominent than the Enzoani-and heavy!  I couldn't have worn that dress in the heat of the summer, but for April it was fine.  The straps also gave it some originality.  My dress ended up costing $1300 plus another $150 in alterations done by Unique Tailor in Raleigh.  Of course it wasn't made from the finest lace and some bridal snobs may turn their nose up at it, but I love it and it was gorgeous and everything I wanted and it didn't break the bank.  It photographed beautifully as well!!  

My dress shopping advice
-it's your dress and not anyone else's, so put your opinion #1!
-as I said before, choose your budget and stay close
-try on every silhouette just to make sure (which I did do briefly at the beginning)
-take pictures! my mom took several of me in my dress.  Out of the salon with a clearer head, pictures>mirrors
-lastly, look look look and don't settle!!

A photo from my bridals....later Hooman cropped it and removed the shadow and it became my bridal portrait <3