Did I lose you?
For those that don't know, this is a Gocco...
It is a magical little machine that makes beautiful prints like these...
It has become really popular in the past 10 years for DIY brides who want to save money on invitations.
It essentially works like screen printing. You can use any design you want, then the image gets burned into a screen, which you then ink and press onto your paper (yeah... that's the way condensed version).
Why do I want one? A) Because I don't like Kinkos. They are expensive, it's not as pretty, and I don't trust them. B) Because I've convinced myself that DIYing my invitations will save money.
Will it really? I have no idea. Which is why I'm stuck hovering my mouse over the "Buy Now" button on Ebay.
Let's break it down... The Gocco costs $145 used. Then I have to buy paper or cardstock to print save-the-dates, invitations, maps, information, menus, rsvp cards, etc etc etc.
If I knew how much all that paper would cost, and if I knew how much it costs to print at Kinkos, then I could do a lovely comparison right about now. But, alas.
I have a feeling the DIY, Gocco-loving, money-saving bride inside me will win this battle.
Ryan's favorite color. He told me as a child, his (older) sister always said to him "your favorite color is red" just so she could have the blue piece when playing board games. I guess over time, he just started to believe her. But I don't want to use red in our wedding because it screams fall/winter. I want something a little more spring/summer and cheery.
I can sympathize with Ryan's color situation because my soon-to-be Maid of Honor, C, forced purple on me as my favorite color because she, too, wanted blue all to herself. To this very day, I hate the color purple. This color will not be a part of our wedding.
My favorite color. But it's a tricky one because it comes in so many shades! It can range from pastel-y to puke-y.
The older I've grown, the more I like pink. But I fear that using pink in our wedding will scream, "Kelly did all the work herself and Ryan had absolutely no say." Which, contrary to his wishes, just isn't true.
Oh gag. No.
I showed Ryan some inspiration boards with different color palettes. My top 3 favorites were Pink and Gray, Yellow and Gray, and Yellow and Navy.
Ryan suggested Yellow, Gray, and Navy.
Wow. I knew I was marrying him for a reason.
So it's not totally official yet, but what do you think?
"Hi Kelly, this is so-and-so from Bridal Boutique. I'm calling in regards to your appointment on July 3rd. I'm so so so so sorry, but the girl who made your appointment didn't know we would be closed that day for the holiday weekend, etc etc etc..."
Now, I'm totally sympathetic that mistakes happen. Perhaps the girl was busy and didn't realize the day I was making my appointment for was a holiday. Perhaps.... except that the very first thing I said to her on the phone was, "Hello, are you guys open on July 3rd?". She paused (I assume looking up the answer), then replied with a cheerful, "Yes! Would you like to make an appointment?". Gurrr.
So I was left with the annoying situation of having to find another bridal boutique that's open that day and available for me and my entourage of 6 to visit.
After some internet searching, I came across Rue Belle. I was slightly relieved that they were a bit more in my price range than the store that dumped me, so I gave them a call.
The owner informs me she will be out of town on July 3rd and the store will be closed.
BUT! She graciously offers to have someone unlock the store for us so we can try on dresses.
That's right... we will have the entire store to ourselves. Is that a bride's dream or what? I'm focusing on the positive (no pressure from sales people) instead of the negative (no sales people to pull pretty dresses for me). Since it's the first stop of the day, I figure it will be a good chance to try on a bunch of different styles and find out what I like.
Woo! Dress party!
But this show is more than entertainment. It is a true teaching tool. (Stick with me here.) The following are the things I've learned from SYTTD... and how I plan on breaking each and every one of them:
1) Always go into your appointment with an idea of what type of dress you want, or bare minimum, what type of bride you want to be. A clueless bride can spend the entire appointment just narrowing down her style.
Well, as I explained last week, I have no idea what type of dress I want. And what type of bride? Oh boy. Who knows. Am I a spunky bride? Elegant bride? Princess bride? Fun bride? Sexy bride? Quirky bride? Hmm... your guess is as good as mine.
2) Don't get your dress too early. You can end up second-guessing your dress choice or wondering "what if" to every dress you come across in a magazine.
My wedding is 1 year and 8 days away. Woops. But I'm impatient! And restless! And bored! Hmm... I wonder if those would qualify as my "bridal type"?
3) Don't bring a huge entourage to the appointment. The last thing you need are unwanted opinions when you're trying to make such a huge decision.
Haha. It started out as just my mom and I, but has escalated to my mom, 3 aunts, 2 cousins, and I. Despite SYTTD's incessant warnings, I will be a happy bride-to-be with my large entourage. I hold absolutely no fears that they will be unruly or out-of-line like some of the families on the show.
But upon waking, I found an email from future-bridesmaid M saying her boyfriend of 4+ years had broken up with her... a guy she had planned on marrying.
So I didn't send the packages.
I wasn't sure what to do in a situation like this. The first thing that came to my mind was how selfish I would be for asking her to be my bridesmaid only days after she got dumped. It would feel like I was trying to downplay her pain... or rub my happy relationship in her face.
So I will wait.
I will probably go ahead and mail the packages for J and C tomorrow, but I will most likely wait a couple weeks to ask M. She needs time to heal. I couldn't possibly ask her to be happy for Ryan and I at a time like this.
I mentioned before what I had printed in each card. Here is a little peek at each card, along with an introduction to my girls...
This is C, my "sister". We met in preschool, so we've known each other for a whopping twenty years! We were completely inseparable from 4th grade through our senior year in high school. Now, even though she is hard to keep track of (London, India, and New Hampshire... all just this summer alone), she will always remain my best friend. I have asked C to be my maid of honor. This decision was a no-brainer.
This is J, my "little buddy". (This is a horrible photo of me, but I just had to use it because it's a picture of J and I when I was a "bridesmaid" for her mock wedding in college.) We met during our freshman year at college when she lived 2 doors down. We lived together and were best friends for our sophomore and junior years, and went everywhere together. I have asked J to be a bridesmaid.
This is M, my "birthday twin". We met our sophomore year in college when she joined my sorority and we learned we had the same birthday! We were good friends through college, and lived together the summer after our junior year and all through our senior year. She has been there through thick and thin and a lot of boy drama. Even though she now lives on the east coast, we try to talk often. I have asked M to be a bridesmaid.
As soon as the cards arrived, I wrote a little personalized note in each one and sealed it up. I bought 3 ring pops in corresponding colors (blue, green, and pink), and attached these stickers I made to tie it all together:
I packed the cards and ring pops into padded mailers, and they will be on their way first thing tomorrow!
I'm so excited for my girls to receive their little packages. I'll let you know their answers when I get them!
Not forever... just for the 4th of July weekend. But it's a whopping four days, so it might as well be forever!
So instead of laze around here with my dog for 4 days straight, I made the decision to be productive. I emailed my mom with the two words that would take any mother's breath away...
She wrote back with an ecstatic, "I'd love to!"
After looking up many dress shops in the Chicagoland area, comparing their dresses, prices, reviews, distance from my parents' house, and whether or not they were open the 4th of July weekend, we settled with 2 shops: Bella Bianca Bridal at Oakbrook Terrace, and A Joyful Occasion in Naperville.
One of the sales ladies suggested I bring along photos of dresses I like.
See, that's sort of a problem. Because... I don't know what I like. I know what I don't like (oh, yes, that's for sure), but finding out what style is "me" has been a challenge.
So I set out on a search of the interwebs and ended up with the following photos...
- I like relatively simple dresses with just a little bit of sparkle or flair
- I really like the drop waist
- I also like high waists with pockets
- I don't like pickups in the skirt
- I like the sweetheart neckline
One of my fears, however, is that I will look awful in a drop waist. The widest part of my body is my stomach, and I have rather small hips, so it might not work on me. If that's the case, I don't know what I'll do. It'll be back to the drawing board, I guess.
So I'm thrilled to announce that we have chosen the extremely talented David Bracho.
He spent quite a few years living here in Indiana, so when he came to visit family over the weekend, we had the great opportunity to meet with him in person at our house.
An hour and a half later, Ryan and I were sold. Take one look at some of these gorgeous photos, and you'll be sold too...
We haven't decided yet how many hours we want or if we want an album. All that can be hashed out later. For the time being, we just know that we want him there on our wedding day to capture all the moments like this...
Except ours would be a trip to Wendy's.
Just about every other day I receive wedding-related mail. It's not mail that I requested or even mail from vendors I've been in contact with.
Instead, it's totally random photographers and florists who somehow have my address.
How did they get my address?!
I'm totally clueless.
At first, they were addressed to our old apartment (Ryan and I just moved into a new apartment about a month ago), but USPS was forwarding everything to our new place. When it first began, all the vendors were Indianapolis-based.
A) Ryan and I live about 2 hours away from Indianapolis.
B) We are having our wedding in Chicago, not Indianapolis.
C) Again... how did they get my address?!
But now, they are coming straight to our new place with our correct address on them, and they are Chicago-based vendors.
It's like someone is stalking us!
Well, if they really are stalking us, hopefully they'll give up now that we have chosen a photographer (without the help of direct mailing... thankyouverymuch).
More on that later. Stay tuned!
Yeah, go ahead... stone me.
It's not that it's a secret... cause it's not. It's just that he hasn't asked.
Haha, yeah. I know that sounds ridiculous. Well, maybe I just don't want to let him in on the bridal crazy. I told him from the very beginning of this process that he could be as involved or as un-involved in planning as he chose.
I don't want him to feel obligated to keep up with yet another one of my whacky blogging endeavors. I don't want him to realize just how obsessive a girl (any girl... not just me!) can get over one or two teeny tiny wedding details.
So when the day comes when he finally discovers this little gem, all I can do is hope he is as gung-ho about it as he was when he found the maps I had secretly drafted up last week.
"Those are really cool." Awww... thanks, Ryan.
The next step is to let the ladies know. But you can't just call them up, "yo... be my bridesmaid." No, no, no. You have to do it with a little finesse!
And wouldn't you know the perfect timing... Shutterfly is having a special on photo cards. If you use the promo code "CARDS4DAD" at checkout, you get three 5x7 photo greeting cards for free plus $0.99 shipping. Score!
So I whipped up a card for each of my 'maids. I included a lovely (if not embarrassing) photo of the two of us on the front. Here's what it says on the inside...
On the day that I marry this wonderful man,
I hope by my side you will proudly stand.
It's meant so much to have you near,
so many things have changed this year.
The one thing on which I could always depend,
was an open ear from you my friend.
Thank you for all the support that you lend,
but mostly I thank you for being my friend.
Will you be my bridesmaid?
Isn't that adorable? I think I will be including a small novelty gift with the card, but you'll have to wait for the cards to arrive to see what I send!