The Countdown Continues – 3 Months!

This week’s regularly scheduled program has been interrupted to bring you this W-Day special news bulletin:

WE’RE AT THREE MONTHS PEOPLE!

You may recall the lengthy list of to dos we had for this month.  Having just reviewed it myself, I’d say we did pretty well.  No wonder I feel like we’ve been doing so much recently!

What we did this month:

  • The Boy turned 30 this month – we happily celebrated our last year, and his last birthday as a singleton
  • We had a bunch of conversations with our Priest and in the end decided to change churches.  I now feel much happier avoiding confrontation altogether, but did have an odd experience of cancelling something for the wedding – not something I would like to do more of (the person on the other end of the phone was so worried and sad for me).
  • We ordered beautiful dresses for all the maids of awesome.  A miracle dress that somehow looks amazing on everyone.
  • We solved the great tux vs. suit debate with an awesome deal and AMAZING suits for all
  • I created and ordered invitations.  They’ve arrived.  They’re beautiful.  But you don’t get to see them until they’ve been received by their intended recipients.  For now I’ll give you this tease.

HAHA Tricked You!

  • We picked the Readings for our ceremony.
  • We bought everything for the bathroom baskets
  • We’ve almost picked all of the music for our ceremony
  • We picked a location for our rehearsal dinner but won’t have a date until our Priest can check the new church’s schedule
  • Still collecting ideas for centrepieces – and will likely do our warehouse tour in another few weeks
  • The Boy called Steamwhistle (his favourite beer) and booked a delivery of kegs

  • I got W-Day shoes and the Boy’s W-Day tie!
  • Booked my hair trial
  • We had our engagement pictures done last weekend, we haven’t seen them yet – so I’ll post once I’ve got evidence of how beautiful they are.  But another sneak peak they involved this beauty:

PPC Streetcars were used in Toronto in the 1950s

It’s getting down to details time so here’s what we still need to do:

  • Mail the invitations
  • Set rehearsal date, book restaurant and invite the peeps
  • I’d like as many things done as early as possible which means printing the rest of the stationary items
  • Hotel welcome bags
  • Make a wine decision
  • Another party! Hooray!
  • Finalize rentals and choose appetizers
  • Shop for wedding bands
  • I think I should be able to visit my dress soon!
  • Start thinking about thinking about day-of and week-before timelines
  • Under the dress shopping
  • Shop for W-party thank you gifts
  • Order ties for groomsmen
  • Finalize ceremony music
  • DJ Play and Do Not Playlists

I think there’s more I want done this month… but this is inducing enough panic for one day.

92 Days to go!

Four Girls, Four Shapes, One Dress, TwoBirds

Ladies and Gentlemen everyone that is in our wedding party has something to wear! This is a momentous occasion and another big check mark off the ol’ to do list.

Originally I had told the ladies to find a grey dress. Any grey dress would do. I didn’t care what the style was as long as it was grey – heck I didn’t even really care what shade of grey – if you like I’m sure I’ll like it was my philosophy. Well, sista went looking and she came back with the following report – “grey does not appear to be the colour this season.” Shoot.

The reason for my original instructions were two fold: first, when everyone can pick their dress they get to pick something that looks good on them, and that they’re comfortable with financially; second, each of my four lovely ladies are completely different shapes. We’ve got heights from 5’7 – 6′, and of course each girl has something about their body that they’d rather not draw attention to. Skip the headache I figured. Do it Yourself.

Alas, it was not to be. But the wonderful world of blogs came to my rescue. I know there’s a few BTBs out there so to you I give you my list of wedding blogs I follow. Style Me Pretty (like 5 posts a day), Green Wedding Shoes, With This Ring, and Wedding Obsession – the last is even Canadian! Style me Pretty did a post on Twobirds Bridesmaids dresses I sent it to Sista and she quickly agreed these were worth a look. Better yet, they just opened a store in Toronto.

About a month ago Sista and I went down and she gave it a whirl. Ready to sign and seal it as soon as she put it on, we scheduled an appointment for this past Saturday when BFF Kate would be in town from the great West. The five of us went across Queen Street, after dropping the Boy at the 14 inning birthday Jays game.

The dress is honestly magical! I want one. Luckily there are only 2 sizes and Sista and I are the same size so I fully intend on stealing hers once I have an occasion that calls for it. (Shh don’t tell her). It’s one dress (a silk/jersey blend fabric – dressy and soft and according to the girls so comfy), 4 lengths, and can be wrapped a minimum of 15 different ways – put a little imagination and creativity in there and the options are basically endless. Plus, there’s an iPhone App complete with videos for your wrapping ease.

The greatest testament I think is how these four very different lovelies all wore the exact same dress one after another, and each of them looks unique and beautiful.

We’ve put the order in for 4 of them in slate grey (dress above is chocolate brown – there’s got to be some surprises right?). They should arrive in about 10 weeks (hopefully plenty of time to be unaffected by a pending postal strike). Love Love Love it and would HIGHLY recommend it. Endorsement from BFF Kristyn – “That was the easiest dress shopping experience I have ever done. EVER.”

Maids of Awesome Dresses – CHECK!  Actual styles they’ll wear – To Be Determined

Continued looking… but then I stopped.

When we left off yesterday I had a favourite dress at Beckers and was getting to know my wedding dress style.  But I had another appointment waiting so I continued looking.

Next stop – Ritche’s another long-standing Toronto store. I met with a young consultant who asked me all kinds of questions and as I was now a pro at this – I actually had some answers.  I knew I had a tendency to like lighter fabrics.  Raw silk and organza.  She asked about toule and I said I hadn’t tried a toule dress (picturing ballerina bottom) and she said she had some things in mind, would pull some options and from there she would get an idea of what I was looking for.

Dress after dress had something I hated.  The toule dress? Wasn’t a ballerina skirt but a satin dress that was vomiting out toule in the bottom on only one side.  I saw giant bows, weird cuts on me, dresses with not enough in the boobs area.  And very. very. traditional.  They looked like wedding dresses – like the thousands of wedding dresses you see on TV – pretty, but not different.  Not unique. Not me. And NOT what I told her I was looking for. I was polite. I told her I liked the shapes, and told her the parts about the different dresses that I liked but none of them were for me. She continued to tell me how we could change a dress I didn’t like into something I did.  I was thinking with so many possibilities in this world – why on Earth would anyone start changing a dress to make it something it’s not.

I tried on one of the ones I had tried at Becker’s earlier.  A pick from my sister that I would have loved if I was having a more city wedding.  But I’m not. I tried it on again so Mom #2 could see. See look how pretty! At the end she brought me one raw silk dress.  It was cute and had pockets! (You may have to put in Style #4004). I love pockets in a dress.  LOVE THEM. But it didn’t do up and she wasn’t great about clamping the dress to my bra so I could get an idea of what it would look like.  All in all I was glad I kept the appointment – it was definitely helping me confirm my gut feelings. BTW the consultant I had at Ritche wrote down the designers of the two I liked but the style numbers she gave me were the store’s numbers not the designers.  This is very sneaky.  I didn’t realize until right now when I was trying to look them up.  I don’t like that.

At this point my sista’s words of wisdom was “You should cancel your appointment for tomorrow and go back to Becker’s.”  I didn’t listen.

Instead I went for the most delicious dinner in the whole world at Aqua Grill in Aurora. OMG so good.

Up at 6:30 for my follow-up MRI from my biopsy issues this summer – all is well no worries.  Picked up my Mom for a 10:00am appointment at Elmwood Brides in Aurora.

Here I met a lovely consultant Kristen.  She asked me a few questions, led me to their gown room, and told me to pull dresses I liked.  Big problem.  There were a lot that I liked the look of.  The dresses they had here – lot’s of Paloma Blanca dresses… lots with pockets! I tried on a HUGE ballroom dress that I was really intrigued by.  BEAUTIFUL but not me.  After dismissing most of the dresses I picked myself, Kristen went to work and pulled a bunch for me including Paloma Blanca 4152.  At this point I was not in love with anything.  When she zipped up this dress my response was “Congratulations Kristen, you’ve given me something to think about.” She was happy with that.  She left me to think about it (appreciated) and went to pull more.  I decided that while both my Mom and the Consultant said I had nothing to be self-conscious about I would feel very uncomfortable in that dress. It’s such a smooth front and smooth lines that I would be second guessing every single calorie from now until Sept 10. Not only that, but what if I ate too much on W-Day (unlikely I know) would I have a food baby in this dress? The stress was too much and the thought of standing the entire night with my hands clasped around my tummy was too much.  I moved on, but not before I decided if I was ever invited to a Presidential Ball, I would be back for it in another colour.

I tried a few more with wonderful pockets that I loved.  But I mostly just loved the pockets.  Then she pulled this dress.  While I immediately HATED the giant bow and still do – hideous, I did start questioning my W-Day vision.  Mom loved this dress.  Mom thought it was wonderful “I love the back!” and I thought it was a beautiful dress, minus the bow of course.  The question was did I want to be a princess? Or did I want to be comfortable? Did I want to be stunning in a traditional WOW way? Or stunning in a Meaghan way?  And did I want to carry around this VERY heavy dress?

In the end I stayed true to my W-Day vision and decided to be the most beautiful me I could be. We went to the car and I told my mom my decision.  We were going back to Becker’s.  I told her why I liked what is now My Dress.  She agreed.  I held up my hand to high-five making one more BIG decision.  Mom returned my five…. and burst into tears.

We called Becker’s and were told that the designer’s daughter was there taking measurements all day, so if we could make it down that would be best.  We grabbed ourselves a road-Chai Tea Latte and headed back town to Toronto to say “Yes” to the dress. I didn’t cry – Mom did of course.  But I definitely had “the feelings.”

Lot's of dresses but not too overwhelming

We took pictures – no you can’t see. And I let the lovely ladies there know I was a blogger and would definitely send some shout outs their way.  Here they are: if you are a Toronto bride – head to Becker’s I found their staff the most knowledgeable and professional.  Ask for Roza because she is THE BEST EVER and TOTALLY AWESOME!  And try on their in-house designer dresses by Barbara Allin.  I said I would reference her site too but she’s very private about her designs and doesn’t have one.  You just have to go and see her.

At Chester Station - you can't miss it!

When you find the one… stop looking

Note for The Boy…. you know how I give you hell when you don’t read my blog? I will forgive you if you don’t read this one… but just in case you do – I’ll spare some details.

This weekend the Boy was out of town and I said “Yes”

To the Dress.

This is going to take a while so let’s get started.

My search started where most searches begin these days, with Google.  Shortly after getting engaged (and by shortly I of course mean the next day) I got my first bridal magazine.  I found a dress I thought I might like, so I Googled the designer (Watters by Watters) and found another dress I loved. I loved everything about it.  I loved that it wasn’t strapless, not too poofy, I wouldn’t look like a cake, it was a little fun with the flowers. Lovely.  I started my for real, live and in person search last weekend with a store that was having a Watters trunk show at the end of the month.

After Googling “Trunk show” to learn what the hell that meant I understood that there would be sales at said show, but also more pressure to make a decision.  The store recommended that I come in before the show, try on some dresses so I would have an idea of what I was looking for when I came for the show.  Great.  Let the hunt begin!

Felicia was the first store.  Great news – they had the dress I originally had my eye on, plus a whole bunch more by the Wtoo and Watters.  I brought my Sista and my mom and off we went in a complete blizzard to try on dresses.  When I got to the original dress I tried it on and HATED it.

Lesson 1: You cannot judge a dress by a picture on the internet.

I tried on a bunch of other dresses and left the day feeling pretty good about my two favourites from that store.   I should note here that the consultant I had at Felicia was pretty good, she didn’t clamp me into any dresses which I later discovered is key, but she also didn’t pressure me at all.  Granted she knew I had an appointment for their trunk show, but nonetheless she also knew this was my first time looking brought me tons of different styles and suggestions.  A very relaxed first experience.  I also loved her for Lesson 2.

Lesson 2: When it comes to wedding dresses, turns out I am not busty.

WHAT? I could have kissed her! My big fear of strapless was I would feel like I was falling out of it, or I would constantly be pulling at it.  Apparently not the case. W-day dresses are made for super tall, and SUPER big racks. Mine actually looked on the small side.  Weird.

Moving on to the marathon

Since I found two that I really liked and they would be on sale at the end of the month, I took some lieu time on Friday and started a W-day marathon. I needed to know whether I was going back for the sale or not. I made 3 appointments on Friday afternoon and Saturday and invited my Mom and Sista (who happened to also have Friday off) and my lovely Godmother aka Mom #2.  Mom #2 couldn’t make it to the first appointment so my appointment at Becker’s Bridal was just with an entourage of 2 again.

My consultant here, Roza asked me what I was looking for, looked at my shape and told me to look around and pull what I liked and she would do the same.  They also had the two Watters dresses that I liked from the week before so she pulled one of those (the more detailed one for those that have clicked through).

I tried on a bunch, but definitely had a new favourite in the first one I tried there – one that Roza had pulled for me. At Becker’s I learned another valuable lesson.

Lesson 3: The jumper cable clamps on the back of a dress like they show on TV (Say Yes To the Dress styles) are key.  W-dresses are fitted to your body, so the clamps really give you a good idea of what each dress will look like in the end.

And another.

Lesson 4: I look firggin’ awesome in W-dresses! Excuse my modesty, but it turns out that curvy girls with boobs and hips look awesome in LOTS of different styles.

There were few styles of dress that looked terrible.  There were details about dress I may have hated, but the different shapes from ballgown, to A-line, to trumpet and mermaid all looked do-able.  But one style worked the best and that was dropped waist A-line.

I was getting to really know what I liked and what I didn’t.

I had a new favourite, but also had another 2 appointments booked and Mom #2 meeting us at the next one, so I said Good-bye to Roza and moved on.

The drama continues tomorrow – where my mom learned to use a camera and started taking pictures… of her knee.

How many stores/dresses did it take you?