Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've fallen for someone...

And that someone is a dress.

I've spent a huge amount of time and energy trying on, thinking about, talking about, and soliciting opinions on dresses.

This weekend, we made a trip to Portland to finally try on some of the dresses that have been part of my most recent dress fantasies. Chris's cousin Annie came to the bridal salon to be opinion-giver and photographer. Thanks Annie!

All the decision making and agonizing went out the window when I tried on *the* dress. There was no thought process, just love. No frantic phone calls for sibling approval or friend advice, just action. No pro and con list, just self-assurance. There was also the scary down payment, but the wallet damage wasn't too bad.

It just *was*... and it was perfect.

I'm almost nervous to show her off, because I'm in such love... so lest anyone be too critical, I know there are some challenges associated with my "sweet" dress. But I'm gonna learn how to rock her in all her beauty confidently. There will be train-- for part of the day, but for part of the day she'll probably be train-less.

Please bear with the pictures, we did the best we could in the circumstances... So, without further ado, I present Sophia Tolli's Dolce in Gold/Ivory... (except for Chris who should read no further)





The crazy train!:
Train off:
Anyway, I wanted to make sure and thank Jen, Kate, Janna, Sandie, Liz, my mom, and all the endless parade of friends and acquaintances who lovingly critiqued and provided advice on dresses. You all are the best!

Oh, she's super comfy too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The hair affair

I was trying to think of how my hair should look for the wedding... or in general really, since my hairstylist needs a "vision" to work with, as he says.

So I found some lovely pictures that capture a vintage look, but will still appear modern. Finger waves are great, but they might look out of place. I found a few looks that I like. Hopefully, my rockstar stylist can work with them to get me ready. Chris's close friend will be doing my hair the day of the wedding.

Here are Grace Kelly, Lauren Bacall and Katherine Heigel... Not that I can hope to look like any of them, but maybe my hair can!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The bait and switch

I think most people know by now, but my amazing weekend of trying on dream dresses turned into a jilted at the alter scenario. I'm trying to be understanding about what happened, but it's still baffling.

Last week, as you can see from the post entitled "A happy accident", I found a salon that is about half an hour away that carries Sophia Tolli dresses. I called the store and ran through a list of several style numbers that I wished to try on. From the other end of the phone I could hear the tappity tap of computer keys and then the cheerful voice of the salesperson saying, "Yes, we have all 3 of those dresses!"

Now to be fair, maybe in my excitement I misheard the salesperson, but she went on and on about how beautiful one of the dresses was, so I could only surmise that she'd seen it and it was in the store... But I was oh so wrong.

To get my friends together (many of whom are very busy) is no small feat, but we were able to arrange to have 2 of my girls come with me. When we got to the salon, the same cheerful woman from the phone call met us and told me to pick out 6 or 8 dresses. I told her that mostly I wanted to try on the 3 dresses we had come to see, and could she pull those out? She said, "sure, sure" and then disappeared. She came back empty handed. I was still clueless and trusting.

And then, she tried to steer me toward high-end dresses. It was only then that she admitted that she didn't have *any* of the dresses that I called about. Now reality started settling in for me. What an awkward situation. I was bummed, the saleswoman was clearly uncomfortable, and my amazing friends were trying to salvage the situation.

I did try on some dresses, a few of which were quite lovely... but my heart just wasn't in it, and we quickly realized it was time to cut our losses. Before we got ready to leave, one of my friends said to the salesperson, "You should have told her you didn't have the dresses..." in her best mom-like disappointed voice. She was my hero in that moment.

I surely hope that this isn't the store's usual customer service policy, but just an isolated incident involving one salesperson... As such, I'm not posting the name of the store, though if you are curious I'll share it privately. Still, it was sort of embarassing to haul my friends down there into a rather uncomfortable situation, though they were so sweet and tried to console me with lunch afterward.

On the bright side, the experience motivated me to find dealers who had these dresses in Western Washington (no easy task). It also showed me that continuing to look is probably a good idea, as I feel very strongly about these dresses (which are as elusive as unicorns). One is in Tacoma, and two more are in Portland, so we'll visit Chris's cousin and to try on the other two! (PS no sales tax in Oregon!) So maybe, this will all come up roses after all :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alternative Invitations

A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I were walking down the street in Ballard. We saw an art poster that caught my eye, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. I thought it might be nice to use an image like this as a totally alternative wedding invitation. It's very much our style, and also somewhat reflective of our venue.

We discussed a collaboration with the artist, and he said he's willing to do it! He's been suspicious of doing wedding invitations in the past because he had a bad experience with one customer, but because we only need artwork and not the whole suite he said yes.

The first design is the one I originally fell for.

Here is another that looks surprisingly like our save the dates which are below:


Our save the date image:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A happy accident

Another bride-to-be inadvertently steered me toward the Sophia Tolli site. I haven't even gazed at a dress site in months. I've been trying to avoid buyers remorse and analysis paralysis... And let's face it, I don't want to try on another wedding dress, well, ever...

But, I haven't been able to decide between the two dresses that I've been looking at, and my poor friends keep having to make special trips to the bridal salon to look at them. I wasn't really conscious of why the decision has been so hard. Maybe it is because I'm not much of a girlie girl and dresses don't matter so much to me. But maybe, just maybe, it is because I haven't met the *right* dress (yet).

Just looking at Sophia Tolli dresses feels different. It is not at all clear to me whether any of these will even look good on me... BUT, if one did, let me tell you, I would be so excited about my dress (and that means a lot coming from me!)

It's sort of like guys. I always thought I wasn't the marrying type... and I wasn't. But it was because I hadn't met the right guy. When I started hanging out with Chris, I absolutely knew that this was different. Maybe it's the same way with dresses?

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite Sophia Tolli dresses. I'm scheduled to try them on (sigh) Saturday. Please, let there be one that I love!

The first is the Selene... This dress has optional straps with a lace back or peak a boo corset. I wouldn't even know how to decide which way to wear it. They are both beautiful in their own way. Maybe some pics with and some pics without? Oh Selene, please look good on me...

The second is the Emily. I love how it has elements of the Betina and the Mori Lee. I also love the diagonal edge that reminds me so much of a sari. So elegant and beautiful!

There are too many that I love to show you them all, but in honor of my sister's extreme passion for this one, I'll show you it too. I think it is not structured enough through the waist to look good on me, but it'll be fun to try on!

I've got a bad crush... I just hope this new relationship works out ;) Does everyone "just know" when they have the right dress? Was it similar to the way you "knew" about your fiance? (because, that I get)... I kept waiting for that moment while trying on dresses and it just hasn't happened. Pray that Saturday it does!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fit Bride

I've found new motivation to achieve some weight loss and health goals. It's a no brainer when I look at myself in dresses and see a different image than what is in my head. It's a hard thing to even talk about, actually.

I know that I wasn't healthy at 98 lbs during medical school (though that's a whole other story), but I'm not exactly in peak condition at 136 either. I still definitely think of myself at 118 lbs when starting residency... Though I don't anticipate being able to get there.

The situation has required a re-dedication of my efforts. I want to feel really good about myself on my wedding day, and to know that I did everything I could to look and feel my best.

This week I started going to yoga at my gym. I can go up to 4 times a week, though I'm being realistic and setting a goal of 3 yoga classes. I'm also taking a dance class, and using the eliptical machine a couple of times a week... Increased energy output--check!

Chris is totally supportive, so we've cut the meat in our diet at least in half. And hardest thing of all-- I've cut out processed foods :( Only whole grains for me. Bye, bye white rice. See ya, plain pasta. Good riddance snack foods. (I am allowing for a smidge of after dinner dark chocolate, but no more real dessert). Decreased energy intake--check!

Hopefully, all of my friends will be equally supportive, because this is going to be damned hard!

One motivation I found today is a site called You simply upload a picture of yourself, they use some pixel magic to shave off the pounds to your goal weight, and presto... you are that much lighter. Maybe this will help me stick to it!

One version of a wedding invitation

Though I love letterpress from the bottom of my heart, it is *way* out of our price range. That being said, we still wanted great invitations to set the tone for a great day. They're all just too expensive, but electronic invites seem to be out of the question.

So, I went to Costco Invitations online. And, they happened to be having a sale... And, that sale happened to be 40% off on certain invitations. And, one of them happens to be to my liking, though not what we had anticipated...

What do you think?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And then there were 2

OK, final two.

I think I know what you all are going to say, but I'm putting it all out there for comments. I won't tell you what I think because I don't want to color anyone's opinion. I will say that there are pros and cons to each, which makes this a hard decision.

I have a feeling that at this point my decision will be in agreement with popular opinion. Let me know what you think, and most importantly, if I should keep looking! (Please don't say I should keep looking)...

I should add: OK, I take it back, I have no idea which one I'm leaning towards now. I keep going back and forth about straps/no straps, the fancy back of the Betina, the beautiful detail on the Mori Lee, the $1,000 price difference. I just wish I could show my man, but he wants this to be a surprise now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote for Change!

Whatever your political orientation, I beg you to go out and vote today. Let your voice be heard! I will not pretend to be non-partisan, but I do respect everyone's individual decision to support who they think will be best for our nation. Personally, I've been working for Barack Obama since November, and I feel like I own part of this campaign. Never have I been so politically energized and included! History will be made today, and I am so happy to be a part of it!
Also, California friends, please consider voting no on Proposition 8. I know most of you are.... but as someone who is getting married in California next year, I want to make sure that every single person in the state shares that same right. The world will not end, morals will not crumble. Families will be created and we'll all be better off for it. I point to MA. for those concerned. The world has not ended there, divorce rates have not worsened (and in fact they've actually improved).

I understand that not all of us meet eye to eye on this, but I had to say it. I still love those of you who disagree, just as I love my gay and lesbian friends who I write about No on Prop 8 for.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shoe reveal

So I've had a couple of phone requests and Betrothed Bean's online request to see the shoes.

Now, I had no idea that these very shoes were becoming a rampant wedding trend, but apparently they are. So sue me, I'm trendy for once...

I wanted something really comfortable. As I said, I was going to wear Chuck Taylors, but they seemed too blah for the kind of dresses I'm looking at. I went to try these on a whim when I was in Downtown Seattle. John Fluevog, I love your shoes so! They were so comfortable and seemed like they were made for me.

I thought, eeks, should I really buy shoes before the gown? That doesn't even make sense... But the more I thought about these, the more I was narrowing down dress choices. I also wanted a place where I could really express myself without anyone (oh, you know who you are ;) having a heart attack.

Some may love them, some may hate them, but all I know is that Chris and I are both wild for them... and that's enough for me!

I plan to lace them with either blue laces or blue ribbon. So much fun!