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!

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Website Roundup

April 9, 2010

I think one of the first things I did when I got engaged (okay, I’ll admit it, I was looking before I got engaged), was looking at as many wedding websites as possible. And there are tons of wedding websites. But some are better than others and some are better for certain things. Here’s a couple I’ve spent time on so far:

WeddingWire.com – I started with Wedding Wire, because my sister-in-law hosted her wedding website here. WW probably has the best planning tools available to brides.

The guest list tool is comprehensive, with options to collect addresses, track RSVPs, gifts and meal choices, and create separate invite lists for other events like the bachelorette party and bridal shower. Even cooler is the seating chart option. WW allows you to set up your reception room, by adding tables of varying sizes and shapes, all customizable, and take guests from your list and drag them to each table. After you’ve seated someone, their seating assignment is automatically stored in your guest list. Awesome, right?

The budget tracker will take your total budget and break it down according to industry norms (50% to reception food, venue, etc., 10% to attire and so forth) and will allow you to redistribute funds based on your needs, track deposits and more.

And the checklist is fairly comprehensive. It definitely includes things that aren’t relevant for everyone (we’re not all going to hire a wedding planner), but that too is customizable. You can add appointments and reminders and check off tasks as they’re completed.

I also used WW to make my own wedding website. Again, the tools are really easy to use and there are a lot of options of things to add.

The other features on the site are pretty decent. I appreciate the reviews of vendors, but the vendor list is fairly limited and many of the recommendations end up being too far away.  There are lots of pictures to scroll through, but they aren’t labeled well enough to find anything easily. It’s mostly for browsing. The forums are fun though and a broad spectrum of ladies participate, which definitely helps for generating ideas and getting feedback.

TheKnot.com – If you’ve been to a wedding since the Internet came to life, you’ve heard of the The Knot. The thing I’ve appreciated about The Knot is the wealth of advice in regards to planning steps, etiquette and anything else you may not know about planning a wedding. I’ve probably gone through 99% of the articles over there and I do think it’s fairly comprehensive.

The Knot also has a much more extensive list of vendors than Wedding Wire, but does not have reviews, which I found frustrating. I also wish they would map the vendors as well. I had a very specific area I wanted to host my wedding in and I had to weed my way through a lot of different places that were broadly in the Hudson Valley, but not on the side of the river I’d hoped for.

I don’t know much about the planning tools, because I had already settled on WW, but I do know there’s no seating chart option, which was the coolest and biggest reason I went with WW.

If you’re looking to browse photos, The Knot is a good place to start. The photos are much easier to sort through and are better organized by color and type. It’s definitely a good place to go for ideas.

ProjectWedding.com – While there is a lot of information and articles on Project Wedding, I’ve mostly been using it for the DIY ideas. Under Ideas -> DIY Wedding there are tons of great step-by-step directions on how to make your own fancy invitations, budget centerpieces and how to use unexpected things to create fancy looking accoutrements for your special day.

StyleMePretty.com – Style Me Pretty is, according to the site, the “ultimate wedding blog” and it’s really hard to argue. The site features gorgeous photos of wedding from around the country and is a great place to find ideas for your own. They also have the occasional contest. I recently didn’t win six really cute clutches for my bridesmaids and I. I’ll keep checking back in hopes of winning in the future. Odds are slim though. The last contest generated over 500 comment entries!

Brooklyn Bride Online – As a Brooklyn gal myself, I started checking out this blog to get local ideas, but like Style Me Pretty, Brooklyn Bride Online posts beautiful photos of real weddings and engagement shoots. Great for getting ideas. The writer, Vané Broussard, also posts photos and interviews with area vendors that you probably won’t find on the bigger sites. The best part of the blog though is the blogroll. I’ve found tons of other great blog sites through Brooklyn Bride Online.

I think those are the top sites I’ve been clicking on so far. I know there are a ton out there, but I haven’t really spent the time to go in depth. On Wednesday night, I hit up the New York Magazine Bridal Show (which was fabulous and I’ll post more about later) and learned about a couple of new sites that I want to check out.

What sites are you clicking on for wedding news?