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Old 09-24-2012, 06:17 PM   #61
ShanaMouse
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Wedding Dress Shopping

Hi Everyone!
First off I wanted to thank all of you that are still following along!

Secondly, I went dress shopping over the weekend and had a blast !!!

On Saturday morning I headed over to my mom's house to pick her up so we could go dress shopping. As I was early and she wasn't ready yet, I decided to prepare for a day of dress shopping by watching Say Yes to the Dress! lol. By 10 am we were off to pick up my friend and bridesmaid, Sarah. We had two stops to make after that: the first one was David's Bridal and the second was Alfred Angelo, which was conveniently located right across the street.

DISCLAIMER: I dont have many pics from our visit to DB but do have some.

Our appointed at Davids Bridal was at 11 am, but we got there about 15 minutes prior. The store was still very empty with only a few brides there, which was a plus from how I had seen it during their busy times in the early afternoon. The lady checked us in and then send we can browse around a little and the consultant will come get us. As I was browsing through hundreds and hundreds of dresses, nothing really stood out to me. There were a lot of dresses I thought were "nice" but not nice enough to the point where I wanted to try them on. When the consultant burst around the corner asking if I were Shana, I immediately knew we would get along! He was outgoing, funny, attentive, and very kind. Not once, throughout the entire process, did I feel as though he was being really pushy (which was a fear of mine) to buy a dress.

So i had printed out a list of dresses I saw on their website and he did inform me that they only had 4 of the 9 dresses I picked in store. UGH! So he said he will pull those and I can try those on and if I don't like them then we can always look for more. When I got to the dressing room I had about 5 dresses hanging there, some of which looked familiar and others who I had not seen before.

The first dress was a real princess dress; tight on top and as big as it can get on the bottom. Sarah was helping me get dressed while my mom waited in front of the room. As soon as Sarah put me into the dress, I knew I didn't want to show my mom. I had not even seen it in the mirror yet and I already knew it looked horrible. Reason being that the widest part of my body is right around my waist and the dress hit right on the widest part and then ballooned outward. It was horrifying. Sarah said I should show my mom anyway so I walked out and the first thing my mom said was "you look like something I would put on top of a cupcake". Needless to say, dress #1 was out, which is fine because I didn't feel good in it anyway.

From there I went on to try 2 or 3 more with mediocre reviews by all of us, even the consultant. Then I put on an all lace dress, which looked really old hollywood like with a low cut back and was ivory in color. So far, this was the front runner. It was nothing like i had tried on before nor was interested in, but it looked great on me and I felt great in it. Then I tried on 2 or 3 more dresses that he had pulled but nothing really stood out.

Lastly, Sarah had picked a dress off of the rack that I feel in love with on the hanger. When I put it on, i LOVED it. I felt like a real princess in it. This was also the dress that my mom and sarah loved the most and quickly bumped up to number one. here are some pics:



Here is a picture of Sarah and I. She is wearing the Vera Wang bridesmaids dress, which I really liked.


I really loved the dress but didn't want to make a rushed decision and buy it, knowing that I may find something better at Alfred Angelo. I told our consultant that we were going to lunch and thinking about it. He was very nice about it and said no problem and to let him know if I needed anything.

After about 2 hours at DB we headed to lunch at Olive Garden. After that we headed over to Alfred Angelo. I was really looking forward to this as I had been in the store before and thought that they have great dresses.
We browsed the racks of dresses and picked out anything and everything I wanted to try on. My mom picked some, Sarah picked some, I did and the consultant did. I ended up with about 7 dresses in the room.
The first dress I tried on was actually a powder blue color. I do have to say that what caught my attention, at first, was the fact that it was not white or ivory, but then i looked at the actual dress and thought it was very pretty. The consultant then said it also comes in white and ivory. here are some pics:



Although I liked the dress, I didn't like it on me. Additionally, I thought the dress gave off a different vibe than what we are going for at the wedding.
Next was a similar dress to the DB one that I like. It looked like one that would be good for the beach


I liked the way this dress felt, but I thought it made me look kind of boring and, need I say it... "ROUND". lol

Then there were a few other dresses I tried on that got lame reviews and that I also didn't really care for. Then I had dismissed some before even putting them on and then there was one dress that was hiding behind all of the other one. Looking at it, it was STUNNING! I put it on and couldnt believe how amazing it looked and how it made me feel. I walked out of the dressing room and my mom gasped and said "YES! SHANA THIS IS IT!" I looked at Sarah and she said "Oh my gosh you look amazing!" This dress trumped all of the others I had tried on. I looked in the mirror and it looked even better on than on the hanger.
THIS IS MY DRESS!!!







before I made my decision, i walked through the store one more time to see if there was one I missed, but I didnt and I couldnt wait to put the dress back on one final time to confirm that this was the one... and it was!!!
There were other brides there that complimented me on the way it looked and I knew I had to have it.

The best part is yet to come: my budget was about $1200.00. Want to know how much this dress was? $497.00! Yes, that's right, $700 under budget. I paid for the entire dress then and there, as I didn't want to have to worry about another bill later down the road.

It was an extremely successful day of dress shopping, I'd say. The dress will be in the store in about 4 months (around Xmas time or in January she said) and then we get to the alterations, etc.

I hope you guys like it!
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:57 PM   #62
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Wow Shana! Good job on the dress! You had much better luck than I've had recently. I can't believe your dress was that price!! Everything I've been finding recently has been $1,200-$2,200, WAY out of my budget
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #63
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Shana, you look beautiful in that dress! It definitely was the one! I love it! Congrats on coming in way under budget, I bet you are thinking of all the other things you can do with the money you saved . Did you get shoes or veil or any accessories to go with it? I am thinking about $1000 to $1500 budget for my dress, so I am excited to see that there are amazing dresses for less than that. I'm glad you had such a great experience dress shopping!
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeysStarTrader View Post
Wow Shana! Good job on the dress! You had much better luck than I've had recently. I can't believe your dress was that price!! Everything I've been finding recently has been $1,200-$2,200, WAY out of my budget
It really was a lucky find. i couldnt believe the price when I saw it and probably checked the tag 3 or 4 times lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Daydream View Post
Shana, you look beautiful in that dress! It definitely was the one! I love it! Congrats on coming in way under budget, I bet you are thinking of all the other things you can do with the money you saved . Did you get shoes or veil or any accessories to go with it? I am thinking about $1000 to $1500 budget for my dress, so I am excited to see that there are amazing dresses for less than that. I'm glad you had such a great experience dress shopping!
Thank you! I didn't get anything else that day, as I am not planning on a veil and I am going to be wearing flats, since I dont want to tower over DF lol I am planning on just wearing some sort of a sparkly flower or something like that in my hair.
Yeah my budget really wasnt THAT much, because I knew I would only be wearing it for that one day and it was, honestly, not on the top things on my list to spend money on. Most of the dresses at DB were around $800 or so, so I think that you will definitely be able to find something even at another store around that price range
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:52 PM   #65
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Slight change of plans...

Okay so I didn't address this yet, but I am going to now:

I was extremely frustrated with all of our reception venues that we were considering, including Bluezoo and the Garden Grove.
The reason being their unresponsiveness. The rep from Bluezoo and I had been emailing back and forth and then she stated that she will be back on Monday and reply then... well, that Monday was now almost 4 weeks ago! I have also called in the meantime, but have had yet to hear back.
Same thing with Garden Grove. The rep I had been emailing with was somewhat responsive and I would get reply's a few days after I sent the email, usually at around 11pm or. Well any who, she went on vacay and so another manager was to contact me, which she did. She was very responsive, but when I asked for a revised contract, as they sent one that had errors on it, she disappeared. I, again, called, but have not been able to speak to the correct rep at this point. This has now been going on for 2 weeks.

Both of these situations have actually turned me off of working with them. I feel like, if you cannot be responsive to my questions in a timely manner, why should I be spending 2, 3, or even 4 thousand dollars at your establishment?

Well, this meant I was now back to square one. Everything else we had looked at for dinner was just out of our price range, since Sean and I are paying for the entire thing.

This prompted me to email my planner at Just Marry and ask if we can move the ceremony to another time in order to host a lunch reception. In our contract, it did state the time of the event but there was no stipulation that said i can't change it. So rather than assume I couldn't, I emailed and 4 days and a couple of "I'm sorry, Shana, the hotel still has not gotten back to me with the request" later, we were able to change our ceremony time to 11am.

I am extremely happy with this. I think what we will end up doing now is a lunch reception at Fulton's Crab House. They have a great price for the amount of people we have and it's a private space with great food. Also, a way to keep cost down is due to the fact that I really don't feel the need to provide an open bar for a lunch reception.

So now we are in the process of reworking that whole thing, but Sean and I are so happy that we were able to change our start time. I think it was always in the back of our minds that we wanted to change the start time, but neither one of us really said anything.
Also, this way I don't have to wait all day to get married to my best friend

Talk to you guys soon!
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:55 PM   #66
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Hi, I just caught up and I think that dress is very pretty on you!! I think that's awesome that you found Just Married buttons! Lucky, LOL! Your save the dates are super cute too. Looking forward to more of your planning.

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Old 09-30-2012, 09:19 PM   #67
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E-Shoot & Preliminary Budget

Happy Sunday everyone!
DF and I had our engagement shoot yesterday with Regina Hyman. I have nothing but good things to say about her. She was fun, energetic, made us feel comfortable, and extremely professional. I definitely feel as though DF and I made the right decision in going with her for all of our pictures.

At first, DF said he was really nervous because he feels that he doesn't take good pictures and thought we would look really awkward. About 10 minutes into the shoot and Regina breaking the ice with some funny comments, we were both extremely comfortable in front of the camera and just had fun with it.
Our session was about 2 hours long and we started inside the Boardwalk resort, worked our way down to the Boardwalk, then over to the Atlantic Dancehall and the bridge by the Swan and Dolphin. This was followed by some outside shots at the Yacht Club Resort, inside the Beach Club Resort, out to the beach, over to the ESPN quick service restaurant and back to the lobby of the Boardwalk. All in all, we had a blast!!!
Even DF said that this was probably one of the most fun things we have ever done at Disney.
I don't have any pictures yet, but we should be getting a sneak peak within the next couple of days (which is will post) and then she will send us a disc within the next few weeks with all pictures.

It was extremely hot the day of our shoot and we had planned to go to EPCOT's Food and Wine afterwards, but I really wasn't feeling it. Plus, I had some homework that needed attending to lol.
__________________________________________________ ______________
It dawned on me that I wanted to post our initial budget a while back, but never did, so I am going to do it now. This is just for anyone who is interested and may help them in their planning.

Sean and I never explicitly talked about a final number for the budget, but we both agreed on being comfortable paying around $10k, but would love to keep it around $8k. As we get closer and closer to the wedding, I will also be updating you all with where we stand as far as the budget is concerned.

Swan's Crescent Terrace - Ceremony Venue - $1815.00
Christine MacPhail - Harpist for ceremony - $400.00
Regina Hyman - Photography (includes engagement shoot, wedding coverage, wedding album, disc of all images, etc) - $1050.00
829films - Videography (up to 8 hours with 2 videographers) - $1000.00
Ever After Printables - Save the Dates - $15.00
Vista Print - Save the Date prints - $63.90
Alfred Angelo - Wedding Dress - $526.29
Disney Store - Mickey Mouse Bridal Party Welcome Bags (10) -$20.00
Target - Disney Ponchos for Bridal Party - ~$40.00
Disney's Old Key West Resort - Disneymoon stay for 4 nights - DVC - $0

Grand total: $4930.19 - Wedding Dress (gift from grandparents) = $4403.90

I would say we are definitely still on track of our goal of $8k.
I am expecting our reception, hopefully at Fulton's, to be around $4k for 60 people, including tax and gratuity. I am thinking we will end up closer to our $10k max when I throw in DF's suit, rings, hair and make-up, shoes, and whatever other little things I think of, such as the DIY projects I have lined up

I will be sure to keep everyone posted!
Talk to you guys soon and thanks for still following along!
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #68
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Just caught up... and I have to say the dress is amazing and you look stunning!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #69
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I'm sorry you had all that hassle with the venues but I'm glad that it all worked out in the end. From what I have seen, Fulton's seems like a great place to have your reception. I am hoping for a morning ceremony too, I think I would go crazy waiting until evening! Oh, saw your preview pictures on the DISbrides FB page but it wouldn't let me comment. The previews look great, Regina did an amazing job! I can't wait to see the rest of them!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:25 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Daydream View Post
I'm sorry you had all that hassle with the venues but I'm glad that it all worked out in the end. From what I have seen, Fulton's seems like a great place to have your reception. I am hoping for a morning ceremony too, I think I would go crazy waiting until evening! Oh, saw your preview pictures on the DISbrides FB page but it wouldn't let me comment. The previews look great, Regina did an amazing job! I can't wait to see the rest of them!!
I am just glad that that I had this bad experience with the venues now as opposed to it being after paying my deposits, etc. and it being close to our wedding and then they just don't respond.
I love Regina! We have emailed back and forth a couple of times since the shoot and she has been nothing but great. DF even said that we need to find more occasions to take pics on so we can work with her more often lol
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #71
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Engagement Shoot Preview Pictures

I just quickly wanted to share a sneak peak we got from Regina for the pictures we took on Saturday. She said she will probably have all of them done by the end of next week and then she will also mail us a disc with all of the pictures.



___________________________

In non-wedding related news, my birthday was yesterday and DF and I are celebrating our three year anniversary today... well sort of celebrating. We both took Friday off at which point we are headed to Food & Wine, which is when we will be celebrating. Today we didn't really do anything special, but he did get me a Disney love song CD and a pair of diamond earrings. I'm so spoiled lol
I did also get Cinderella on blu-ray for my birthday, which I have been waiting on since its release was first announced. I think we are watching that as soon as he finishes his piece of celebratory anniversary cake and I finish my post lol

I will be in touch soon!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:57 AM   #72
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Great budget update! Looks like you'll be sitting pretty at that $8k mark!

LOVE your photos! So gorgeous! Can't wait to see more!
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:41 PM   #73
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Wooo to coming in under budget!!! I made DF watch Cinderella too! I love it mee now than I did when I was a kid
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #74
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Wooo to coming in under budget!!! I made DF watch Cinderella too! I love it mee now than I did when I was a kid
we watched the movie the other day and they did a great job at restoring it to look like it was made just yesterday!
I love the movie more now than I did before too! Just such a great story!
Btw, did you get my message that I sent you via FB? I got some more Just Married buttons
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:45 PM   #75
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Yay!!!!! My FB is crazy sometimes if the person messaging me isn't ready a friend. I just successfully hunted it down and messaged you
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