Thursday, September 15, 2011

THE Dress

This past weekend my Mom flew into town with one mission in mind - to find the dress!  What an experience that was.  Being in the industry, I knew that appointments were needed, so I made appointments at five different bridal shops so that we could make the most of my Mom's trip and secure the perfect dress. 

First up on the list was Mon Amie.  Wendy was helping us and she was amazing.  I truly had such a great experience there.  Being that this was the first stop, it was a little over whelming.  The shop is in a strip mall in Costa Mesa right next to an entertainment company, a photographer and a floral shop.   Talk about one stop shopping!  Mon Amie however takes up about 2/3 of the entire strip mall - it is huge!  They had dresses ranging from $1500 and up.  I must have tried on at least 15 different dresses.  It actually gave me a really good idea of what I like and what my Mom and my Step Mom liked on me.  The other thing that was interesting to me is that they only have one of each dress.  Every bridal store does this.  They have a size 10 (which is like a size 6 or 8 I am told) to try on.  If you are bigger than that - tough cookies!  Wendy was amazing and so helpful with finding the right dress and helping me squeeze into them!  It's so funny how some zipped right up and others I couldn't get over my hips.  Mon Amie is where my love of sashes also began.  I love adding that touch of bling and color - it is awesome!

Next on the list was the Dresser in Fullerton.  This shop had dresses that were $2500 and under.  They had some nice things but nothing near the selection of Mon Amie.  The girl who helped me was Sara.  It was such a different experience because Sara was really young - she looked maybe 19 to 22 years old - and had a facial piercing.  She really was a terrible sales person.   She kept asking me questions trying to find out what I liked but it really felt more like an interrogation.  I really didn't find anything that I loved there and I have to wonder if it is because of the experience.

On Sunday, we paid a visit to Mariposa in Anaheim.  This store has dresses that are about $3000 and under.  Naeima was so sweet and really helpful.  I know my Mom and Step Mom felt like she wasn't listening because she didn't really put me in the type of dress we were looking for.  When we first arrived I told her that I wasn't liking sweetheart necklines on me and that I wasn't looking for a poofy ballgown.  Well, practically EVERY dress she pulled had a sweetheart neckline and at least half were super poofy!  It was at Mariposa though that my love of sashes continued.  One of the BEST things of Mariposa is that we were able to take pictures and I could then see myself in the dresses while I was still in them.  That helped me to REALLY see what actually was looking good on me.

On Monday morning I woke up like a kid on Christmas because I knew this was the day that I was going to have to make a decision.  We started the day with stopping by Jim Kennedy to show my Mom and Step Mom photos from my fabulous photographer!  It was so fun to get to see some of their new stuff and really start getting excited all together.  After we left we went to our first appointment for the day at Erin Cole in Costa Mesa.  This store is incredible.  We hadn't even walked in the door yet and my Mom says, "Ooh.  I already like this store!"  Kate was helping us and she did a fabulous job!  I didn't try on a single sweetheart neckline or poofy ballgown.  She really helped me and listened to what we were all saying and together we found the perfect dress!  Well, needless to say - I said "Yes to the dress" and we made our purchase!  I still can't believe it - it really is a dream dress and I feel like a million bucks in it!  Unfortunately I am not sharing photos for obvious reasons but I wish I could! 

We never made it to the Wedding Day, but I have heard great things about it and many of my brides at the hotel buy their dress from there.

What I thought was going to be a truly painful process turned out to be tons of fun and end in success!  When I got back to work on Tuesday I spoke to my representative from Ceremony Magazine and she said they would definitely feature my wedding - yipee!   Now it feels real and I am so excited to marry my best friend!


Friday, September 2, 2011

A couple good finds...

Hi all!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post.  I have been so busy with guests visiting and work that I have barely had time for anything else!  Since my last entry, John has resigned his position with Ikon and has accepted a sales position with Anajet.  We are both really excited about his new opportunity!  He will start just right after Labor Day.

I have been diligently "cleansing" for the past two weeks.  It is amazing how great I already feel!  Only 10 more weeks to go!  Part of the cleanse is removing all caffeine and sugar from your diet.  I L O V E coffee and have a major love affair going with chocolate - so this was going to be a challenge to say the least!  So far I have done really great though.  Especially considering that John's birthday was on August 23rd...  We did a whole week of celebrating - what can I say, it was Costa Mesa restaurant week too!  Anyhow, since I started, I have lost 8 pounds, 3/4 of an inch from my waist, an inch and a half from my hips, one inch from my thigh and one inch from my bicep!  Not too shabby!  Although I am of course working out regularly too...

Recently I discovered the gel manicure.  I love to paint my nails and toes all the time and so I do it frequently.  But, I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the hype is about.  Well - it is amazing.  A little pricey considering when I paint my own nails it is free, but it will definitely be worth it for my wedding day!  Imagine a perfect manicure for your wedding that lasts through your entire honeymoon!!!  Yes please.

What do you all think of the color?  I think either something natural like this or a french manicure for the wedding!  I think the best part of the gel manicure is that it is thick so your nails grow longer than they would on their own.  Mine always used to crack at the sides and I would end up cutting them short all the time.

I did end up returning one pair of the wedding shoes that I was torn between.  The only reason that I can't wear them is they make me too tall compared to John.  I am a tall girl and I don't won't to tower over my man on our wedding day!  Here is a picture of them.  They are so cute and fun - fuschia Dolce and Gabbana!

Now I am really getting more and more excited to go dress shopping with my mom next weekend!  I am still nervous - but definitely excited too!

My last item is my own personal opinion so please don't take this the wrong way - but it is on my mind.  I have a strong dislike for bridal shows.  There.  I said it.  I recently participated in one and it was great that we did because the show was at the Hyatt next door.  We had a golf cart that took people over to our hotel when they were done and we had such a wonderful response.  I just feel like the majority of the other vendors who were there were not quality at all.  When you are spending anywhere from $20,000 - $80,000 on your special day - why would you hire someone who doesn't do good work.  I know that I know too much about how horribly things can go with the wrong people working for you.  Really, any Joe Schmoe can buy a booth at these things and sell their services.  In Orange County ESPECIALLY, the wedding world is SO tight knit.  If you hire the people that are referrals from your venue or other vendors that you trust - you WON'T go wrong.  When you hire people from bridal shows, you usually get vendors that are unreputable and no one else is referring.  Occasionally you will find a gem... but the question is:  Are you willing to take the risk?  I hope that you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!