Thursday, July 29, 2010

Far Far Away and The Bridesmaids Quiz

I'd like to start by saying how much I love the book The Bridesmaid Guide by Kate Chynoweth. This is truly an enlightening (as far as you can be enlightened on this subject), entertaining and reassuring while being an easy read. In this post, I'll embrace the enlightening and entertaining sides by addressing the subject of the long distance bridesmaid and then completing the post with an amusing quiz on what kind of bridesmaid you are. Michelle administered this quiz to me and it reaped many a laugh from me and I hope it does the same to you. Let's begin!!!

Far, Far And Away

...there was a beautiful bride who dwelled in a somewhat lovely (always bland) suburb outside of Atlanta. This beautiful bride had five equally lovely bridesmaids who were thrilled to be at the service of their bride. All summer long, they sqeauled and cheered as the bride looked for (and found) her dress, as they mingled about bridal shows and even suffered together through subpar bridal "boutiques". However, all good things come to an end and as fall approached, the bride would see off her bridesmaids to all corners (not really) of the United States. What was a bride to do?

Love the story? I do! Anyway, I know alot of us are not going to be around during the majoirty of the time between now and the wedding and for different reasons. I accepted a teaching position in Virginia (woot 5th grade!), Michelle is going to grad school in Massachusetts (yay for Harvard!), Debbie is going back to school in Macon (as well as some awesome study abroad trips) and Alison may stay in North Dakota (or maybe Russia?)...sooooo what are we to do? I know all of us want to be as involved as possible and help our bride as much as we can to take as much of the burden off her shoulders as possible. But we are still left asking ourselves if what we are doing is conventional for the role as a bridesmaid?

The answer is simple: With weddings changing drastically over the passed 20-30 years, the growth of "bridezillas" and more modern or unconventional-thinking brides, the role of the bridesmaid has changed with it. According to Chynoweth, "there is nothing conventional about being a bridesmaid these days," (pg. 20). For the long-distance bridesmaid, the best thing we can do for our bride is make sure we are as emotionally available as we are logistically, perhaps even more so. I know I want to be as helpful for Lesley-Anne as I can be, but there is going to come a time when the decisions are hers alone, and there are going to be times of lull where major decisions have been made and now we're taking a break. So, since that time is coming up on us where there is a lull, our most important task is to be an emotional stronghold for her, giving her our honest and loving support with whatever decisions she makes.

Also, something none of us may have considered is the unique position of being a long-distance bridemaid. As Chynoweth puts it "many brides treasure having an out-of-towner to talk to, someone who is far away from the hustle and bustle of their family and wedding plans, someone who has a sense of humor and a distanced perspectgive on the event," (pg.22). We will all be able to give her a perspective that does not include Atlanta or Peachtree City...we will be able to distract our bride with tales of VA, ND, or MA...tales of badass children (most likely not actually), rolling fields, and law school students gone wild on caffeine. As I mentioned before, when we feel down about not physically being there...we need to realized the utter importance about being there emotionally for her. LA may go through a time where planning or family, or future family, members leads to argument or high stress and she needs to vent... available for her to vent to and distract her from PTC while not drawing absolute attention to yourself.

Sound good?

Now for the quiz...this is straight out of the book. I'll post the questions and answer choices here now and in a few days, I will post the different categories of bridesmaid that you could be. If you really want to be brave, you could put your answer choices in the comment box for the whole world to know what kind of bridesmaid you are.
Here we go!

1. You wake up the morning after the rehersal dinner- the day of the wedding- with a strange man in your bed. He oddly resembles one of the ushers....Oh, God. You...
   A) Think, "How will I live through the shame? I'm so embarassed, I can't leave the room!"
   B) Grab whatever clothes you can find and flee, inadvertently locking yourself out and your bridesmaids dress in.
   C) Yell at him, "Get up and bring me croissants! I need sustenance befrore the bride and I storm the salon!"

2. You discover mere hours before the ceremony is to begin, that the bridal bouquet has not been delivered and the flourist can't bring it until the next day. You...
   A) Explain the snafu to the bride with hopeless tears in your eyes.
   B) Run like a maniac through town even though there are no flower shops/they're closed/they're tacky, and arrive sweaty and late to the ceremony with a torn dress and no blooms.
   C) Pilfer flowers from vases at a nearby resturant or reception site, create the best bouquet possible, and offer it to the bride with a brave smile.

3. The formfitting dress makes you look more like you're carrying a wideload than like J.Lo. You...
   A) Blame yourself for not being slender or attractive enough
   B) Tie a sweatshirt around your waist and forget to take it off before you walk down the aisle.
   C) Invest in some newfangled undergarments and make the best of it.

4. An ex-boyfriend, who is also a very good friend of the couple, is shooting you strange looks from across the reception room. You...
   A) Stare down at your plate, and as soon as possible hide in the bathroom.
   B) Gossip about him ot your neighbor, ignoring the fact that the best man is in the middle of the toast.
   C) Smile at him and start picking your teeth in an exaggerated way. See how long it takes for him to do a spinach check.

5. At wedding-day hair appointment, you notice the hairstylist beginning to stray from the agreed-upon style.
   A) Keep your mouth shut and leave it to the professional.
   B) Focus so intently on your own hairstyle that you completely forget what is happening to hers.
   C) Scream, "Oh God, her hair! What are you doing?!"

Let the answering commense in 3...2...1...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

She Found The Dress!!!!!

Exciting news!!!!!

After many beautiful dresses, after many hours of searching, toole monsters, horrible encounters, fiascos, and the fabulousness of Demetrios and Cheryl, LA has found her dress and it is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! She looks absolutely stunning in it! Clap your hands for the most important part of all the planning is complete!! Give her your physical or virtual love n' hugs!

Also, while at Demetrios, Michelle and I were able to look around at their available bridesmaids dresses and found two that we really like!
One of them is by Eden Bridals. It is a beautiful satin dress with a halter style neck, ruched top and banded upper midsection. This one is very much a cousin of the David's Bridal dress that Michelle had and when she tried it on, it looked fabulous! The color the model is wearing the dress in is the color that was at the store and we found that this color was good for both yellow and pink undertones. 
It has a very flattering waist line that won't accentuate anything too much, fitting from below the breasts with a thick band that separates the ruched top from the skirt of the dress, which lightly flares out right before the hips, so the hips are not fitted in at all and brought attention to while still giving the wearer a good figure. The halter style top is ruched, which is good fo any size of chest (according, correctly, to Cheryl of Demetrios) so even if you have a small chest or are very top heavy, this style of his top will be flattering and appropriate without being overly coservative.

The back of the dress also gives the audience a small site of flesh. It's not small enough for me to consider it a key-hole, but a relative thereof. It's kind of a "peek-a-boo!" for your back (which makes me giggle just a bit...the back being SO scandalous n' all).

Another benefit of this dress is the designer, Eden Bridals. Eden Bridals has a turn around of 4 weeks, according to Cheryl. This is AMAZING since most bridemaid dress designers have a turn around of anywhere between 8-18 weeks, depending on the complexity of the dress. A 4 week turn around means that even for those who might not be anywhere near Demetrios or somewhere that can order this dress, you can come home over Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even Spring Break and order it and have it in time. I would advocate the sooner rather than later, but this does mean we don't need to order our dresses until December, January or February (at the latest March).

The other dress we found that every seemed to like was by Bill Levkoff. This dress was made of a tissue taffeta, which is incredibly smooth (much like satin) while still being lightweight and worthy to wear again. The square neckline is another plus for all chest sizes, since it will imply more for those with less and hold in those who are top heavy (we don't need spillage):

This one is also banded, like the Eden dress before it and thus, will produce an appealing fit for any body shape we have because it also bands right across the upper midsection with an A-line skirt. This means those with hips who are worried about their hips can sleep at ease. It fits in the right places while being comfortable and lightweight, which is good for the summer seasons. It is sleeveless, but Michelle, LA, Mrs. Harris and I all thought that the addition of spaghetti straps (if desired) would not be that great of a task to complete. The band has one big difference over the Eden band and that is....
It's a sash that forms into elegant tails :)

Now, it is two-toned with the sash, which gives us an unique opportunity to use a complimentary color alongside the darker royal blue we will probably be going with. This means that our sashes could be light baby blue in nature...along the lines of this:

or this....
(aawww aren't they cute?...Kinda...maybe?)

Anyway, those are the two strong options, though the Levkoff (if I remember right) does take longer than the Eden to come in...somewhere along the lines of 8-10 weeks or it could be 14-16 weeks, I can't really remember. So, if you end up liking this dress instead, then you will have to order it earlier.

Speaking of ordering!!!! I believe Cheryl told LA this (though I might be wrong) but we, as the bridemaids, received a 15% discount on our dresses if we order them through Demetrios. Thus, if you want to pay less for your bridemaids dress, you WILL have to go to Demetrios at some point and get measured. They will order it for you and you will pick it up from them. The prices of the dresses are good (Eden's is INCREDIBLY good) for designer bridemaids dresses, and with the (tentative) discount, they will be even better. Here are the prices of the dresses with and without the discount, just incase I heard wrong:

Eden Dress
Retail Price: $160
With Discount: $136

Bill Levkoff Dress
Retail Price: $265
With Discount: $225.25

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bridemaids Dresses

Hey ladies!

So this Saturday, LA, Chelle and I are going to David's Bridal in Kennesaw to do some dress looking for both bride and bridesmaids. If you are around and would like to come, our appointment is at 1pm and we may meet up earlier in the morning for beakfast/brunch or wait until after the appointment (to avoid the bloaty feeling we all get sometimes) and get lunch. However, if you are unable to come, then please send me, LA or Chelle via e-mail or posting here a certain style or fabric or whatever that you may to looking for or have an idea of that goes along with what we already know LA wants. This way, we can do our best to kind of keep an eye out and construct a dress that all of us may like to wear if it comes down to LA wanting us to all have the same dress.

So, if you prefer satin to chiffon, or strapless to cap sleeves or whatever, then please let us know now!!! Also, look at the kind of dresses you have bought in the past and see if you can figure out a pattern (aside from color since we're pretty sure the color is going to be a royal blue or a little darker) in your dresses that made you love them. Was it the silhouette of the dress? (A-line, empire waisted, assymetrical, fitted, trumpet?) Was it the fabric? (satin, silk, chiffon, taffeta, organza?) Was it the neckline of the dress? (halter, sweetheart, scoop, square?) Was it the straps? (cap sleeves, strapless, spaghetti?)  Taking these things into account will help your alot more when picking out a dress and for us to pick a dress all of us will like and look good in should LA want us to all have the same dress.

Hope you all are doing well and had a great Independence Day! Hopefully we can all get together as bride and bridesmaids before the summer is out and we all go out seperate ways until next summer. If not, then I wish everyone well and will keep this as up-to-date as possible!

So mes belles dames, I leave you with these quotes from The Bridemaids Guide by Kate Chynoweth:
    "Becoming a fabulous bridemaid takes more than the simple commitment that friendship requires- it takes skills and savoir faire..."
    "Being a bridemaid is about being a friend and helping the people you love through good times and bad [and] transcends the role of practical helper and friend to play an even more extraordinary role in the wedding- an unwavering bridge between the bride's old life and new."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wedding Planning Madness

Hello ladies!

I've decided to construct this blog for we, the bridemaids, bride and maid of honor, to talk about stuff to do with the wedding. This'll be good since alot of us are not going to be exactly close by for planning come fall but might still have issues with dresses, colors, shoes, etc...And we can help each other out while also staying abreast of the latest wedding news.

Colors: To date, we have the colors of the wedding: blue and yellow. Now, the blue is leaning more toward a royal or navy blue, not a bright electric (make you gag all over yourself) blue. This shade of blue, or shade range that is, will do well with all of our different skin tones. Michelle and I got paint swatches from Home Depot to figure out which hues of blue will work the best and since she is a yellow undertoned person and I am a pink undertoned person, we needed a color that went well with both of us...that didn't turn too purple on either of us. The darker hues did this well. Now, for the yellows, I believe our bride is leaning more toward a pale yellow, pale golden color. This will be a nice accent color for us and may end up being the color of the flowers in our bouquet or the ribbon that ties our bouquets together.

Dress length: Tea-length seems to be was Lesley-Anne likes the most right now, so I would start looking around for tea-length dresses in a darker blue. Tea-length is good for the summer heat, and for those who are taller because it will imply shorter and give you an opportuntiy to show off your legs without the worry of hiking up when you sit down. So far, Lesley-Anne does not care where we get the dress from or what it looks like so long as it's tea-length and dark blue (and not something you would look like a ho in). Also, she implied she would love it if we got dresses that we could wear after the wedding, just so we get our monies worth out of it.
If you have no clue where to start looking for bridemaids dresses, I will recommend some awesome designers that I encountered during my sister's wedding:
-Dessy Group: AfterSix and Dessy Collection
-Alfred Angelo
-David's Bridal (they have cheaper prices without skimping on quality or looks)

Also, both bride and groom has chosen where the venue is going to take place. The ceremony will be at New Convenant Church on Robinson Rd. in PTC and the reception will be at the Whitewater Country Club.

I will post more information when the times comes and some helpful tips to being a good and attentive bridemaids no matter where you are!