Yes, that's right! The planning has officially begun for...........WHIT'S wedding! :-) We are up to our eyeballs in wedding magazines, reception ideas, caterers, photographers, venues, and dress selection! Thank goodness we have an entire year.
1st Accomplishment - The Venue - Mackinaw Winery
2nd Accomplishment - The Date - May 7th 2011
3rd Accomplishment - The Caterer - American Catering
4th Accomplishment - The Dress - You'll have to wait to see! :-)
5th Accomplishment - The Photographer - Katie Zeller
Now on to the tastings, seeing the venue, decorations, bridesmaid dresses, music, invitations, etc. It's been a fun process so far. Gives me tons of ideas for my own someday. You can go over to Whit's blog to read about her dress experience: http://whitneyandisaacstrong.blogspot.com/
We honestly had very little to no frustration with finding her dress. We only had to go to about 5 stores and try on probably 6 dresses total. We figured looking in California made sense because then my mom could be there for the experience, but you never really know what you're in for until you do it. So we started at David's Bridal. They were super helpful and she tried on a few dresses. One in particular that was a great deal and even an extra $50 off that day. Whit said that mom, Kate and I all chimed "ohhhhh" in unison as she said the discounts on bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride, invitiations and tuxes, but it wasn't the "one" Then we went to the next store where Kate and I had more fun trying on dresses than Whit did. They were having a sample sale so you didn't have to have an appointment and you could just grab dresses and try on. Since you didn't have a consultant to help you, Kate helped me get into the dresses. I had to lose my modesty quickly when you have no bra and you're trying to jump into a dress that is a size too small for you! haha So on to the third store for Whit. The White Dress! I mean even the name sounds magical! How could it not be the place? Well it was the place and the dress if you were willing to sign over your future 401k to them! haha Whit walked out and we gasped and then tried to talk her out of the dress. Just sleep on it! It's a lot of money for one day! Do you really want to make installment payments on a wedding dress?! So we walked out, dressless and Whit was pretty well defeated.
On to the next location! By this point, we had picked up two more bystanders. My aunt Cheryl and my cousin Brittany had flown in for spring break. Mom picked them up at the airport while we got a head start at the bridal salon. The front half was the normal bridal salon and the back room was the outlet part. In there you could buy off the rack and they entice you by telling you that they are 30-75% off. What they don't tell you with that wonderful enticing sales pitch is the dresses are torn, dirty, buttons missing, sequins gone, but hey I got it for a steal! haha So needless to say Whit did not find what she was looking for there.
We took a week off and decided that maybe a new attitude, a new store and a fresh perspective would help the process! :-) Mom and I made a few appointments for the following Saturday. One in particular was call The Wedding Day. Before we walked in, mom had us sit in the car and she prayed over our day and just asked that we would be able to find Whitney a dress that she loved and one that was in her price range so that she didn't have to have a rent to own policy on her dress! haha We walked in and I was immediately skeptical because every dress that she showed us Whit said she didn't like. Then my mom proceeded to take out two manicans in the front window sending them crashing to the floor and the people and the cash register to exclaim, "what the hell?" As we walked around the store, every dress she pulled for Whit was "fit and flare" and looked exactly the same as the three previous dresses she had pulled and even though Whit was turning up her nose at them all, she kept telling Whit "just try it, it looks different on". Oh brother! So as I wandered the store looking for a dress on the sale rack and trying to keep a low profile to not try and take out any more store front displays, Whit, mom and Celeste had pulled a few more dresses.
Now it was the moment of truth. Celeste was smart enough to put Whit in the one dress that we pulled that she actually liked. She walked out and it had all the things she was looking for, sweetheart neckline, natural waist, full skirt but not too full, etc. Then it happened! Whit started crying. I looked over at my mom tearing up because Whit was and Whit was going "I don't know why I'm crying!" It was pretty obvious at that point, that it was "the one"! Celeste wanted to tap in on some additional sale items, so she quickly put a veil on Whit's head which of course now we couldn't buy the dress without the veil and so it was.....Whit's wedding dress was found! :-)
Now on to bigger and better things.......centerpieces, planning and decorations! This is the part of the process that I absolute love! I love making spreadsheets and checklists and coming up with different, unique and affordable deocration ideas without using a mirror(what I call and crack mirror) and bowl of water with a floating candle. It's fun to see how much I can do on a budget and still make it cute. So we begin.......