The Purpose

As Z. and I have busted budgets and worksheets and scribbled ideas down on notebook paper, I stop to think about what this wedding truly means to me.

We have mentioned the idea of a destination wedding, foregoing all the planning and the stresses of prepping for such an important event, a day that will be mine for forever. And I have come to realize that the food and the venue and the decorations are not what matters when it comes to planning a wedding — it’s about having the people that you love around you, celebrating the joining of two lives. And maybe throwing back a few in the process.

For me, the destination wedding kind of defeats that purpose. Yes, the people that are closest to us would still be there, we’d still be celebrating such a wonderful relationship, but it may be limiting on some guests that would be invited. And that is not something that I want to be concerned with. We have kept our guest list pretty light — family and the closest of friends — but I do think that leaving the state or country would knock our guest list considerably.

We’ve ex’d out the idea of favors; we’d rather donate that money to a great cause rather than buy all of you something that would probably be eaten or tossed after sitting on a shelf and collecting dust at home … and that’s assuming it makes it out of your car the night of the wedding. I’ve been contacting some of the caterers in regards to customizing a menu and making it more “home-y”, more comfort foods that we had when we were growing up to help emphasize our laid-back, enjoyable atmosphere (no Mom, I won’t ask if they will make Pokemon Macaroni & Cheese). We want to zero in on creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable, at home, and with the people that they love — rather than a stereotypical wedding with flower centerpieces and a plated dinner where butlers are placing napkins on your lap because you haven’t taken it out from under your silverware in a timely fashion.

So, maybe I should relax a little more and know that other things are a little more important: a venue that matches your ambiance, a photographer that will promise and deliver the utmost perfect memories captured on a day that can’t be matched or re-lived, and a memory that lays in the minds of every guest that won’t be forgotten as a wedding that highlighted the true meaning of the gathering, rather than worrying about minor details that do not matter in the end.

I still like black chairs better than white.

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Venues Unveiled.

The trip to Phoenix in search of the most perfect place to get married was much simpler than expected and what the previous venue post may have had you believe. No, we actually didn’t end up seeing every venue — schedule conflicts, lack of interest, pure tiredness.

Z. and I were non-stop; I worked Thursday night from 10:45pm until 3am, and when I got home I woke Z. up and said “We’re out”. The good things about this: I had caught my second wind and could drive while he woke up, he could then drive while I slept, we would for sure miss any and all traffic in the LA area, and we were sure we’d have enough time to drop the puppy off at my daddy’s and catch a nap before our appointment at Chase Field. I ended up with two hours of sleep in the car and one hour at my dad’s, so needless to say we were pooped.

Chase Field is an amazing venue — totally unique and inspirational, you are forced to make it your own because weddings there are SO rare and it is not set up to host that type of event. A few of the suites were out of this world with fabulous views of the field that would lend to some one-and-only photographs. Biggest downside and the closer for us: the Diamondback’s schedule isn’t finalized until October/November of this year and if a game falls on the day of your event, you MUST reschedule. Mind you, that would be only 4 months before our wedding. Bummer.

One of the suites.

View from the suite.

Tempe Center for the Arts — one of the biggest disappointments. My contact said that the venue would be open at 11am on Saturday for preparation for another wedding. Z. and I walked around and tried every door for about 25 minutes and had to leave to stay on schedule for our other obligations. The outside is astounding and funky and may have lent itself well to our vision, but Pops isn’t too keen on poor service.

The back of the building that faces Tempe Town Lake.

The room for rent: Lakeside.

Arizona Grand Resort, much too formal for our vision. It is a beautiful site, but reminded me slightly of the hotel that I helped host our 2004 High School Prom in.

You can rent the green for the ceremony.

Ballroom -- excuse the blurriness.

The Farm at South Mountain — looked quite lovely online, but the layout is pretty spread out and maybe a little too casual. I’m also hesitant on an outdoor venue even though our pending dates are during a promising time of the year. I’d rather be safe than sorry on this one. [Didn’t even snap a photo here … dang, that says something.]

Phoenix Art Museum. Beautiful, but I’m afraid the ballroom is a little too big for the number of guests that I am planning on inviting and expecting to show up. It’s definitely not as cozy as I would like, and I’m looking for more of an intimate space. If I were inviting more people, this would be a favorite … but I’m not, so it’s not.

Cool ball of lights at the entrance.

Right outside the gallery we'd rent -- supposedly I could walk down those stairs, but I think that's a little dramatic.

We canceled on Arizona Science Center and Tre Bella. AZ SC for the same reason as Phx Art Museum — I assumed their amenities would be similar and I know some friends that held their Senior Proms there. Tre Bella — it’s in Mesa, and we think that with our guests flying into Phoenix for the wedding, that it would be the easiest and most convenient to have the wedding in a more central location that is close to the airport and near hotels.

That leaves us with the contenders: MonOrchid and Bentley Projects. Both are amazing in their own ways and both have some unique characteristics that me and Z. both love. MonOrchid has a more modern vibe which doesn’t aligned with our vision as well as Bentley does, but Bentley is more expensive … so there will be plenty of number crunching and decisions to make this week.

Bentley:

The front door.

The largest gallery.

Back side of the previous picture, original brick work.

Here is MonOrchid:

To the left -- where the ceremony would take place.

To the right of the last picture -- where the reception tables would be set up.

The choices, the choices. :]

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What We Came Away With.

Because of my lack of blogging this weekend, I’m sure most of you are ready for some report about what Z. and I left Phoenix with and without. Luckily, some large stresses have been laid to rest, so I’m venturing to say that the rest of this wedding planning will be much more pleasant for both me and my groom.

We saw most of our venues this weekend, with the exception of a couple. My camera is loaded with pictures, so as soon as I am able to download them this evening, a post revealing our favorites will be written. Until then, I will let you know that we have driven away from the Valley with two favorites that stand apart from the rest, which allows my brain to relax just a little bit.

Phoenix, Arizona -- the city I miss.

Most importantly, I left with one of the most stressful pieces all figured out — and paid for. As some of you know, I did have two dress appointments scheduled, one at I Do! I Do! Bridal in Phoenix and another at Destiny’s Bride in Scottsdale. I must criticize, especially for all of you ladies who may be in the market for a wedding gown. I Do! I Do! Bridal had some fabulous designers and some fabulous prices, but the service was only mediocre (yes, I had been referred to Destiny’s by THREE brides, but I had to have some “trial runs” before I jumped into paradise). They gave me a quick tour of the facility, attached my information sheet to a rack and told me to start pulling dresses that I wanted to try on. I had invited the troops: the sister/MOH, my mother, my father, my aunt and one of my fabulous bridesmaids, C. We waded through what seemed like thousands of dresses, and I was rather unsure about what I really wanted. I had looked at pictures and what not, but I didn’t know what would look best on my shorter stature. I asked an employee, and she actually had no advice and just told me to keep pulling.

Once I had pulled approximately 8 dresses, they tossed me into a dressing room with a curtain and told me they’d hand me a dress through the crack when I was ready. Once the dress had been stepped into, I walked out onto a pedestal and they clamped me into the dress with construction-orange industrial strength clamps — no one could really tell what the back of the dress would really look like. I walked out to present the options to my friends and family, and there wasn’t one dress that I actually said that I “loved”, nor that I think any of them liked. I left with two favorites documented, and no true intention to return.

Sunday was a day that was jam-packed — five appointments for venues; another bridesmaid (Ja.) and her husband and my Godson drove down from Cottonwood to spend the day with my family. We toured two venues, grabbed lunch, saw one more and then ended up canceling the last two; by this point in time there were still two that really stood out and were favorites for myself and Z., so there was no point exhausting our guests. Instead, I knew that Ja. really had wished she’d be able to experience looking for a dress with me, so in desperation I called a David’s Bridal in Peoria and managed to squeeze my way in. The help was much more valuable, and I truly believed that the employees wanted to help me find the dress of my dreams (and I think she also realized when I hadn’t loved one that I tried on). It was fun and I managed to narrow my ideas of what I wanted even more, preparing myself for Monday’s appointment.

Destiny's Bride -- Click for website.

I went to Destiny’s Bride yesterday with my mom, one of her friends from home, C., and my MOH. I knew the moment that I walked in, aside from the wonderful referrals, that the service there would be outstanding and more personal, which is what I was looking for after being so discouraged. I know, maybe I had been overreacting because I had only been to two other stores, but I was hoping that I would find the dress that I would buy with my family — and I’m sure that my mom wanted the exact same thing.

We started by talking with Linda about what exactly I had been looking for, but that I wasn’t even 100% sure about that and would be willing to try on anything she wanted me to. We started by pulling some dresses off of the racks and running them back and forth between the floor and the dressing rooms. I’m tellin’ you what: LINDA is the bomb. She is sweet, honest, and you can truly tell that she loves what she is doing and that she cares about each woman that walks into that store. AND she calls her dresses by name … adorable. We slipped into a more simple one with some of the details that I had mentioned, and I knew immediately that it wasn’t the dress that I would wear, but that there was no doubt that Linda would find the ONE.

Off. Gown number two was just perfect — maybe a little too busy, but it was a beautiful shape and it felt so good. We definitely marked it as a favorite. Number three was unique and what I really wanted to love, but we ended up eliminating it because even though I wanted to love it, I just didn’t; it wasn’t me. I returned to the dressing room and Linda said, “Okay. I know this isn’t exactly what you have asked for, and she doesn’t get pulled out a lot because she is a newer dress, but just try her on.”

Gown number four. I walked out and stood on the raised pedestal and she fluffed the back of the dress. I saw my mom start to well up, and that was it. I lost it. I loved it. It was nothing that I ever dreamed I’d be getting married in, but there was a presence that I felt not only within the dress, but within the way it made me feel. I was asked if I loved it, and I said yes. I was asked if I loved it more than #2, and I said I wasn’t sure. So we went back into the dressing room and put #2 back on to see them back-to-back. I returned to show my family, and we just knew that it wasn’t it. It didn’t hold a candle to #4 … AT ALL. I actually couldn’t wait to put #4 back on.

When I returned is when it got real. Linda pulled my hair up and grabbed some jewelry and what not, and it just came together. She attempted to pin the back so we could see what it would look like bustled, and every person in the room knew that that was the dress. My mom kept crying … she said “In every other store we didn’t have this moment” — she was ecstatic. Geez, I even tear up now just thinking about how happy she looked. It was emotional and exhausting, but Destiny’s Bride (particularly Linda) made the experience worth the while and I found my dress, a dress that I wouldn’t have given a second glance online or in a magazine. The entire way home was spent dreaming about my gown.

Relief … in the fact that the dress is purchased and the venues are narrowed. All there is to do now before we sign with one of the favorites is to sit down and really work out the budget to see which one, if either, would be the better pick. Both compliment our style and personal view of where we want to commit ourselves to each other, so it’s just a matter of finally making a decision.

Be excited for photos and the venue blog — I’m so excited to be back!! ❤

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Your Very Own Tour…

Here is an uber long post — your very own “Self-Guided Tour” to my weekend in the greater Phoenix area, in search for the perfect venue … Enjoy.

As this weekend has crept closer and closer, I started to sit back and truly think about what type of venue will capture the right essence that Z. and I are aiming for on our special day. In all reality, I won’t be totally sold on a theme until there is a venue — so if the venue encourages a different decor style, then so be it. I have come to terms with modifying everything that I have thought of to make sure that the tiniest details compliment the space we will be filling. I will try my best to be calm this weekend, and it will be made a little easier (I hope) by having some close friends and family there with us.

With 9 of the 10 venues that we wanted to visit booked for appointments between this afternoon and Sunday evening, we will have our weekend cut out for us — especially since the SUNS won Tuesday night and will be in PHX tomorrow evening (awesome that they made it, even more awesome that my venue appointments will be complete in downtown Phoenix before the game starts).

I’ll give you the down-low, since I won’t be posting at all while in Arizona (I know, please please PLEASE stay excited for Tuesday’s post, and don’t stop following!!). Below I will list all venues, in the order that we will be seeing them. If you’d like to visit the websites, all you have to do is click on the first picture for each venue. :]

1. Chase Field, formally known as The BOB. I’ve seen a few blogs on baseball-themed weddings that are pretty spectacular, and it’s a fresh idea that has true meaning to my relationship with Z. We have watched some games here together, not as many as we wish … But this was where our official First Date took place, tickets purchased by Z. We still have our stubs kept in a cozy drawer, so it would be extra special if the details worked out.

Chase Field

One of the MANY areas you can rent.

2. MonOrchid. Pure beauty, and a blank canvas. Anything would go at this venue — it’s clean and simple and just gorgeous. This is probably one of the venues that I am most excited to see. I just hope that I don’t fall in love with it with 7 more appointments to go.

MonOrchid. OMGosh, did I mention my love for the staircase?

Another great shot.

3. Bentley Projects. This venue is owned by the same people that own/manage MonOrchid. The tall ceilings with wooden beams gives the rustic feel (of maybe a barn?!?) that we may be looking for, matching many of the pictures that I have saved.

Bentley Projects

Ceremony Aisle

4. Tempe Center for the Arts. Tempe is where my heart still lies, and in a banquet room that is literally Lakeside, we would have a breathtaking view (maybe minus the 202 and traffic, haha). This would also allow for pictures prior to the wedding to be taken in Tempe, perhaps on campus, which was something that I’m really interested in since Z. and I have history @ ASU (if the event isn’t in Tempe or near campus, I’m going to maybe ask the photographer for a “day after” session and go to ASU for pictures, pending pricing). I think that this venue will have more potential than I’ve given it thus far.

Tempe Center for the Arts

Sorry about the quality -- from the website.

5. Arizona Grand Resort. Realistically, I think this will be too “in the box” for us — with all of the other amazing venues that we have appointments with, I think that this matches our style the least … but we’ve still left it on the list just in case. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be gorgeous, but it’s one of the venues that is not really “low-key” and casual.

Arizona Grand Resort

One of the ballrooms.

6. The Farm at South Mountain. Unfortunately there will be weddings going on at the site this weekend so we will be giving ourselves the “Self-Guided Tour”, complete with a package of details and a read-as-you-walk description of the venue. This is another top contender for me as of right now, so I’m hoping that despite how busy it will be there this weekend, that we will still be able to see everything we need to in order to make a decision.

The Farm at South Mountain (sorry about the logo, didn't want to crop too much of the photo)

The trees are gorgeous.

7. Phoenix Art Museum. I cannot wait to be here — some of the pictures for weddings that I have seen here are beautiful, and (I know I’ve said this a lot) this may be up on the list as well :]. Again, with many people going on vacation for the holiday weekend we won’t be given a guided tour, but the Events Coordinator has been so pleasant and will be leaving complimentary tickets for us to tour ourselves.

Phoenix Art Museum

One of the rooms for rent.

8. Arizona Science Center. This would be fun and fresh, and the building outside would be stunning as a background for many of the pictures — the clean lines and amazing architecture would be b-e-a-uuuutiful. This is the placement (in terms of order of venues) that I have set aside for this venue and have talked to the Events Coordinator about a tour, but we’re been playing phone tag and have semi-solidified plans, so I really hope this works out.

Arizona Science Center

One of the areas to rent.

9. Tre Bella. This is a venue that was built in Mesa solely for events such as weddings. With 7 venues already lined up, I’d love to fall in love before we got this far into the list, but we’ll still visit. It is really pretty, but maybe for a more formal wedding.

Tre Bella

(I can’t find a picture of the outside of the building … so I’ll be sure to take some and post later.) This is absolutely stunning, though.

And there you have it: the list, pictures and websites of all the venues that are scheduled for this weekend. I’m hoping I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. :] Ciao!

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Enough Teasing … Let’s talk Bridal Gowns

Now, there is no denying that I have been searching online and fallen in love with maybe 100+ gowns, but it is a totally different story when the dress isn’t placed on a 6 foot model who you could probably see through.

As stated before, a whopping 5’2″ won’t carry the length of the sample dress well but I am prepared to drag the excess fabric along the floor to any platform (lol, must be a platform) in front of a floor-length mirror. I have been reading plenty of articles and blogs in regards to “what dresses fit your body type?” and have developed favor for a specific type that is “supposed” to make me look a certain way. Despite the blogs that say drop-waists may elongate my ever-so-short torso and will shorten my legs and send me back to square one, it is still my top contender. Who really knows until you try some on, right? I swore that a ball gown would be too much … but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll reconsider since it will be my last chance to be a princess for a day.

**Please note: These are not dresses that I am considering — Z. will be reading the blog, so I can’t spoil anything. These are pictures that I quickly found online.

#1

My inkling is: drop-waist with a trumpet bottom, strapless … okay, maybe this picture isn’t the best, the bottom lacks the more defined structure that I’m searching for, but you get the point. I think the drop waist would help to elongate my short torso, but again, it may shorten my legs and I may look like a Munchkin. I’ve also been told that with curvy (nice way to say “wide”) hips that this drop waist accentuates that, haha. I’m not sure what I’d rather opt for — because of my height I’ve been told that a flowy dress would be more appropriate and would make me look taller in general, but it’s just not my style (and I’m not pregnant) :].

A-line

This gown is more of an A-line, which is flattering on almost any bride, so I guess it has to be a contender. I’m going for simple and elegant, so this is a match.

Ball Gown

If I do Ball Gown, I’m going all out and doing ball gown. Obviously this example isn’t a good one if you are going for a casual, low-key outdoor ceremony, but there are some indoor options that are still in the running. I love the idea of looking glamorous and more regal, but I also want to be sure to be different and unique and ME. Ugh, pictures don’t do any of these gowns justice, nor do they help me make any sort of decision.

Ultimately when the time comes, I will walk into a boutique and let the designer go wild, allowing her to first put me in anything she thinks would look best, and then we’ll go from there. Obviously, I’ll ask to try on my number one gown that I have fallen in love with online, and I just pray that it is flattering and is THE dress (my mother is pretty excited to play “Say Yes to the Dress” … adorable). I want to savor the moment and not fall in love with the first dress that I try on because it’s my time to be a bride, to have that bridal experience … but I’m 99% sure that if I tried on the dress that I am in love with FIRST, that I’d walk out with the dress of my dreams after only trying on one.

Are there any brides out there that are uber short and have any advice??!!?!? Any fashion-forward females up on the UP about this sort of thing that could steer me in A direction???

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The Unknown — The Z.

The relationship between Z. and I has been quite the mystery to some of you due to my subtle-ness and ways of not advertising all details so blatantly. Well, here is a post that will tell all — including the utmost perfect proposal.

I met Z. in April/May of 2007; he was slated to be my Co-Community Assistant in PV West at Arizona State University. I have never been bashful when it comes to giving hugs, so that’s what he got instead of a formal hand shake. He had come to the building to check out the room and to see what he was getting himself into, when in all reality he had no idea. I was one of the CAs that went all out — I absolutely, without a doubt, and PROUDLY loved being a Community Assistant. I was convinced that I could make this kid love it just as much.

The year went by and Z. and I had built a strong friendship — from the baseball-themed posters and door decs, to our playing of Guitar Hero on his mini TV and wrapping him in TP for Halloween. I believed that I could talk to him about anything and really valued our friendship. At the time, I was in a committed relationship, so nothing romantic came up between the two of us.

A famous door dec.

The next year I was placed in a residence hall on a different side of campus for yr. 2008-2009 and we split. Unfortunately, so did our friendship. We would try to schedule lunch at the one and only Manzy Dining Hall or the Student Union, but we were not hanging out as much or seeing too much of each other; the friendship dissolved to the point where we were acquaintances.

By December I had been given a couple of job offers and was in the midst of trying to decide where my calling was. I had been attending church with my father a little more than usual and I remember one Sunday rather clearly. I had just received the Holy Communion and had gone back to my pew and knelt down to pray, something that I did and still do every single day, even if I’m not attending church as much as I would like. I wasn’t praying for myself or anyone in particular, rather, I was speaking with God as if he were my best friend from grade school. And I realized at that moment that leaving Arizona was going to be one of the hardest things I would ever do — leaving my friends and family and loved ones and my life at ASU, I was leaving everything I knew. And I admitted then that there were some valuable relationships (yes, plural) that I let go by the wayside, that I didn’t focus on as much as I would have liked, and that I would have one more semester to correct that. And that’s what I did.

One relationship being my friendship with Z. I had let a 10 minute walk weaken our friendship, and that was unacceptable. Z. and I started hanging out more often and he sat me down one night and explicitly told me that all he ever wanted for me was happiness. There was no romanticism, no motives — just pure care for an individual.

And from there, the relationship became more than just a friendship. Next came first date, first kiss, graduation, etc. etc; all the goofy, newness of relationships took hold and never let go. He left shortly after this to go back to Virginia for the summer of 2009, and I couldn’t let that be the last time I saw him before I packed two cars and moved to California (yes, I only took two cars worth of crap to CA). I planned a week-long trip to Virginia to see him and meet his mother and then headed right back, only to turn around 2 or 3 days later and move. I wanted to move on my own and prove to myself that I could survive here all by my lonesome, and I did just that. Luckily, Z. was able to plan a few trips to CA during the summer and he was graduating in December. We made it extremely clear to each other that there should be no stress and expectations of our long-distance relationship, for we didn’t know what the future held for us.

August 2009 – December 2009 was probably one of the hardest times for me, Z., and our relationship. The distance put us to the test, along with other personal issues, and although we struggled and sometimes thought we wouldn’t make it, we endured. I can honestly say, and Z. would agree, that those months will hopefully be the worst that we have to deal with, because they were the worst. We are so much stronger because of them, we have learned so much about one another and were forced to do it with 500 miles separating us and in only 5 months. We were forced to grow up and mature in our relationship, but it has all been worth the while. And it has all worked out beautifully.

Mid-December 2009 Z. moved out to Bakersfield to live with me, promising that though he didn’t know what he wanted to do professionally, that he would work and strive to support me and our relationship in any way possible. His kind heart and giving nature has led him to realize that his calling is to help people, in any way. And for that I admire him. Even with as young as he is and the times he’s been doubted, he has succeeded and grown and I am so honored that he has chosen to marry me.

Haha, so NOW what you all have been waiting for … the proposal. As you can probably tell, we are not a flashy couple whatsoever, so Z. knew that popping the question on the Big Screen at Dodger’s Stadium would not be my idea of the perfect proposal (no offense … but I really don’t like the Dodgers :] ).

I am recently a new mother of a Yorkie Terrier, Sergeant.

My little boy, Sergeant.

On May 14th after work, Z. had suggested that we take Sergeant to a park that he had spotted on his way to work. Of course, I didn’t think twice about it — bright, sunny day in California at a park? Nothing could be better. We loaded the car with nothing but ourselves and a leash and went and just walked around. I laid in the grass with the puppy, constantly grabbing twigs and clumps of dirt out of his mouth. I stood up and Z. came over and wrapped his arms around me rather tightly, and I just stood there and soaked in the moment, quickly realizing how heavily he was breathing. I asked, and I quote: “Why are you breathing like a creeper?”. The laughter quickly consumed the both of us, and he shakily reached into his pocket, pulling out something wrapped in a small piece of cloth, and got down on one knee (yes, don’t worry … I haven’t let go of the leash). And Z. asked:

I was actually kinda wondering if you might be into the idea of marrying me?“, showing me the most simple and perfect engagement ring — the ring that I’ve always wanted — solely symbolizing how unique and simple and clean and perfect our relationship is and always will be: a solitaire round-cut diamond perched on a white gold band.

I always thought that I’d bawl hysterically when proposed to, but a sense of calmness and comfort overwhelmed me. I didn’t hear the puppy, the cars driving by on the highway, nothing. There was a man sitting on a picnic table reading a book who didn’t look up, wasn’t disturbed, and that was it. I said of course and hugged him ever so tightly, not even the slightest bit worried about fitting the ring on my tiny finger (ring size of 4.25, and my infatuation with how sparkly the ring is started once we were in the car). It was all about me and Z. in that moment, committing our lives in front of no one but the Lord, to each other for, ever.

My most perfect ring.

Through all the hustle and bustle of 1 1/2 weeks of wedding planning, I have reminded myself and Z. that this is about us, celebrating our relationship and what is to come. And although I am going nuts and blogging every day and already collecting decorations, there is a sense of true love at home and a sense of sanity in the fact that ultimately, if all my DIY projects don’t pull through and it rains and we are outside and the bridesmaids look like jelly beans and all that turns out are gorgeous photographs (oh, you just wait for that post), then that celebration with our family and closest friends has been a success.

With that said — ahhhhh, breathe — Z. has humbled me and made me realize what really matters in a relationship, thus my lack of advertisement (esp. on Facebook because Z. has a particular vendetta against it :] ).

But here is the long-winded version, the love story, and the soon-to-be most perfectly imperfect wedding.

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Helloooooooooo Dresses.

For those of you who thought I meant the dress for ME, I’m sorry and hope you aren’t disappointed (a post with regards to the dress shopping experience will surface in the future, but no spilling the beans on dress details! Z. reads my blog!!). This post is dedicated to my ladies, who have not been named officially yet; to those ladies that will help with all my little details to make sure that the wedding goes off without a hitch; to those ladies who have been the best of friends through different stages of my life; to those ladies who I could never thank enough. And for that, here is a post to you:

I have been referred to the Dessy website by a friend, and another told me today that she bought a bridesmaid’s dress by the same designer just a few months ago. Luckily, they have a zillion different styles, as well as a couple of yellows that may match my color palette perfectly. I am thinking that I may just pick the color and allow the bridesmaids to pick their own styles, one that will flatter their own figure so they feel like a million bucks. And if they all end up picking the same style, well then I’ll have the girls all lookin’ fabulous in the same dress.

One thing is for certain: I will encourage all the girls to shoot for the same length dress, that being cocktail-length. Being that the wedding will be in the Spring, I want the girls to be comfortable and look “spring-y”, so that’s almost a definite, unless one of them persuades me.

I included a couple of the dresses on my own inspirational board, so some of them may look familiar:

Strapless with pockets.

This strapless is pretty simple, possibly allowing the bridesmaid to wear it again for either a cocktail party or on a cruise. One amazing detail: the POCKETS. I love the idea of being able to carry lip gloss or chapstick, but I think that anything too heavy may create a “pulled” look, so that is something to consider.

Scoop neck and back.

This is another look that is clean and crisp, and the scoop on both the neck and the back is stunning. The straps have obvious benefits — no pulling at the top of the dress all night.

Flower.

Now, I love this option, mainly because one can customize the outline of the flower, of which I could do a grey or a taupe. I can’t decide if the flower is too big or just right, so this is a sample that the bridesmaid would have to try on herself to see if it was flattering or if it attracted too much attention.

One shoulder.

Here is an option that is very different, and not your traditional bridesmaid dress, but I’m adoring this one. It is classy and sophisticated, yet one may think it is too formal for such an easy-going, relaxed event.

Halter top.

Another simple and clean look — and a style that could be worn again.

My one and only wish for my bridesmaids is that they are comfortable and they feel good — I don’t want them to be worrying about the way a dress fits for the duration of the ceremony and the reception. I hope that eventually, when it comes time to pick and order the dresses, the bridesmaids will have found something that they like … so if any of you out there have other websites to be looking at for bridesmaid dresses, please let me know! These are not my final decisions whatsoever … just want to start some conversation about styles and shapes and designers.

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