Two Big Items Checked Off!

August 18, 2010

Boy, have I been slacking here. Still about 14 months out from the wedding, but another two big items checked off the list.

A few weeks ago, we trekked up to Scarsdale, NY to meet with Kelly Vasami to photograph the wedding. On the way there, Paul and I were discussing the meeting and he said, “So, this shouldn’t take that long, right?” Two hours later… I think both of us are so excited to work with Kelly. The meeting lasted two hours, though a good fifteen minutes were spent playing with her adorable puppy, and we talked about everything. Every time I mentioned something I’d seen in wedding photography that I didn’t like, Kelly said, “I know!” I think we’re definitely on the same page in terms of what we’re looking for and I’m so excited to have her as part of our day.

There are two main reasons that Kelly’s work stood out to me so much. First was the way she captured color. I love bold colors. And one of the reasons we’re getting married in the fall is because I love all the colors of Autumn. I want to see those reflected in our wedding photography. The other thing I love about her work is the way she captures emotions. It’s not just about what happened when. It’s about how we were feeling during those moments and those are truly reflected in Kelly’s photographs.

We’re going to do an engagement session this fall in Prospect Park and I can’t wait.

The other big check mark is for my wedding dress! I bought my dress last week! And of course, by bought I mean I swiped my credit card for half the purchase price. Give it a few months for the dress to come in and I’ll pay off the dress and then it’s mine!

We went back to the same salon I had visited last, Birnbaum and Bullock. I worked with designer Robert Bullock again to narrow it down between two dresses. This time my mother, my sister, Julie, and maid of honor, Kelly, came along. This was my mom’s first time seeing me in a wedding dress.

To be perfectly honest, I already knew which dress I was going with. I had spent the last month or so thinking about one of the two dresses, but I wanted to see what Mom had to say. I tried on the one I was less enthusiastic about first. It got a good response, but when I put on the other one, there was no question about which dress was mine. The decision was immediate and unanimous. Everyone loved the second dress. I loved the second dress. And soon it shall be mine!

I think what I love most about it, besides the way it looks on, is that it’s visually stimulating. I think people will look at this dress twice and for a good reason. That’s all I’m going to write about it though. Paul knows where the wedding blog is!

I’m very excited though. Only 417 days to go! And no, I’m not counting. Wedding Wire does that for me!

Last weekend, I finally went over to Robert Bullock’s salon to try on his dresses. I have been dreaming about trying on one of his gowns since I saw it in a magazine, almost an year ago. Since I started looking, I’ve known I wanted lace, but I hadn’t been thrilled with any of the dresses I tried on. They looked nice enough, but nothing had felt right. Every dress I tried on was heavy and stiff. I was getting discouraged and a little bit nervous that I had an impossible vision of my wedding dress and I was never going to find it.

Thankfully, I made a trip to Robert Bullock’s salon. The best part of the whole experience is that Robert was there himself helping me out. I could ask about options and know that the answers were coming from the person who designed the dress.

The Francesca gown was the first dress I tried on. I’d been pining forever, it was time to finally see how it looked and it looked… okay. Sadly, this wasn’t my dress. It was really lovely, but didn’t work exactly. But I tried on six or so more dresses and loved them all.

I have never had as positive of a shopping experience as I did at the salon. First of all, every dress felt wonderful. A lot of the dresses I had tried on previously were either true A-line or fitted at the hips, which I wasn’t looking for at all. Robert’s gowns are modified A-line. Essentially, the hug the natural waist and then go out, but there is no fabric forcing the skirt out. The fabric follows the natural line of the hips. Almost every dress I tried on had this shape and I loved the way all of them looked. And because they didn’t have layers of tulle or anything else underneath creating volume, all the dresses were significantly lighter than anything else I tried on. I didn’t feel weighted down at all. The fabric was all very lush and luxurious and the dresses felt amazing on my skin. These were dresses I had no problem imagining spending a day in.

And almost every dress looked great on! Like I said, every dress hit me in all the right places and made me feel incredibly sexy. I even fit perfectly into a couple of the dresses, no pins or clips required. I felt like each dress made my waist look incredibly tiny, which I am definitely going for!

This dress is one of the ones I tried on and it got great reviews from Julie, my sister, and Kelly, my maid of honor, but I didn’t love it. It was a little too modern for me. Some of the other dresses had the lace all over and I liked that more.

Ultimately, I didn’t end up getting my dress, because I narrowed it down to two that I loved. Since Paul knows where the blog is, I won’t go into what they look like, but the next step is to head back with my mother and grandmother and have them help narrow it down. So, hopefully, we’ll do that later this month.

But I absolutely have to encourage anyone who is looking for a beautiful dress and an amazing shopping experience to go to the Birnbaum and Bullock salon. The Stephen Birnbaum has his own line and they have a line together at varying price points. But it was the best experience I’ve had so far, planning my wedding and it’ll be hard to beat. I was the only bride in the salon at the time and each bride gets the same¬†experience.

Wedding Dresses

April 11, 2010

Apparently this week is Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, which means lots of new dresses are on display. I’ve spent plenty of time looking at dresses online and I am constantly amazed by how many ridiculous dresses there are out there. Obviously, the dress, for some women, is a statement of fashion and money. A very couture gown, like Carrie’s in “Sex in the City” is more about fashion than anything else. As ¬†woman on display, it’s important to put on a show, right?

But couture isn’t for me. I like and appreciate fashion. I enjoy watching “Project Runway.” But most fashion just isn’t practical and a lot of times, it just doesn’t look good.

Like most girls, I’ve definitely sat through an entire episode (or multiple episodes) of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” and the main things I’ve learned from that show is that you need to dress for you body type, what looks good in your head may not look good on your body and finally, there are a lot of ugly wedding dresses out there.

Any good bridal magazine will have an article every month going through best styles for body types. I’m short at 5’4″, but not petite. I have a slight hourglass figure. My hips and bust are both pretty average sized. In fact, I’m probably one of those lucky brides who will be able to fit into almost every sample size gown at the shop. The bridal magazines have told me time and again that I should look for sheath to make me look taller and A-line because everyone looks good in A-line. Ball gowns can overwhelm a petite frame and drop waist will just make my legs look short. I’m not sure whether I qualify, so to speak, to wear mermaid or trumpet, but I generally think those two styles are hideous, so I’m not going to worry about them.

What amazes me in looking at photos out of the bridal shows is how many ball gowns there are. the ladies over at AisleDash.com have some fantastic galleries up from bridal fashion week and I have to say, I’m not finding anything that I would like to wear, much less would look good on me. Ten out of eleven of the dresses in Kenneth Pool’s collection are ball gowns, drop-waist ball gowns or mermaid style dresses that look a lot like uber-drop-waisted ball gowns. Most of them, accounting for personal taste, were lovely on the models, but years of watching “America’s Next Top Model” have taught me that most models are 5’9″ and above and stick thin. These dresses won’t look good on most regular women.

There has also been a focus on either tulle, especially for the skirts, and sateen material, with a lot of shine. So much of the fabric seems so heavy. The skirts have no movement to them, because there’s just so much weight to them. At the New York Wedding Event, I was able to touch a few of the dresses and I don’t know what they were made of, but the fabric did not feel comfortable. It felt fake, like polyester of some sort.

The other important feature to look for on wedding dresses are the details; the fabric, beading, lace, etc. Many of the dresses I’ve seen have layers of tulle, ruffles, feathers and lots of pleating. I have to admit, I don’t think I have thevocabulary to really describe some of these dresses. I think one of the styles that I’ve seen a lot lately I can really only call the cupcake affect, meaning the skirt looks like a giant cupcake. I’ve also seen a lot of over-the-top beading, rhinestones and jewels, which I think distract from the dress itself.

And of course, necklines. Strapless have been popular for ages. I have never gotten on board with the idea of a strapless dress. I have horrible visions of the dress falling down or, at the very least, tugging at it all night long. Sweetheart necklines are supposed to look good on anyone, but again, I don’t see it for me. I think my favorite neckline style is V-neck. I think it’s the most flattering style and, depending on how deep it goes, it could be very sexy without being too over the top.

And finally, there’s the issue of straps. Like I mentioned. I don’t want a strapless dress, but it is amazing how many ugly strap options there are out there. It seems the plain old ordinary spaghetti strap is too simply for a lot of designers. I think my least favorite is the David’s Bridal lacey triangle like things. I think they’re hideous.

So after spending a lot of time talking about what I don’t like, what do I like? I want something romantic and sweet. I want sheath or a slight A-line. I want to look tall and thin. I want a fabric that’s soft with a lot of movement, probably a silk of some sort. I really like the lace overlay look, but I want a more modern lace. While look at a wedding magazine a while ago I found the exact dress I want. I don’t know if it’ll actually look good but on paper, it has everything I’m looking for. The dress, seen here on the left is by Robert Bullock, his Francesca gown. I think it’s stunning. The lace detail and beading is not too over the top. The neckline is perfect and the satin details on the neckline continue to the back and make a cross on the back. I think everything about the gown is perfect and I’m hoping it’ll look perfect on me.

Luckily, Robert Bullock’s flagship salon is right in New York City, so I’m hoping to make an appointment there this summer. My problem is that I know I shouldn’t just try on one gown. I know I should go out and try a bunch of things on, make appointments at a bunch of different bridal shops and salons and get to know the process of trying on gowns, decide what looks good on me and really get a feel for the whole wedding gown industry. But I don’t want to. I want to go to Robert Bullock’s salon, try on this dress and buy it.

I know I definitely don’t want to make an appointment at a big bridal warehouse like Kleinfeld’s (especially since their dresses are ugly and expensive, but that’s just my opinion), but I feel bad making an appointment at a small boutique place and essentially wasting someone’s time. I know so many of these stores pay their employees on commission and I’d feel bad having someone spend such a long time helping me when I know I’m not going to buy their dress. And, on the other hand, I’m afraid of falling in love with a dress before I get to try the Robert Bullock one on!

The wedding dress is such a big part of the whole wedding experience. It’s no surprise that it’s probably going to be one of the most stressful.