Wednesday, February 10, 2016

wedding dress shopping

I think the part about getting married that I've always been the most excited about was the dress. (Keep in mind that I started planning my "dream" wedding at the age of 6. Of course things have changed, but finding the perfect dress hasn't. Even college and single me wanted to go and try on dresses.) *Are you even allowed to put that many sentences in parenthesis??? Oops.

When thinking about what mystified me (and still does) about wedding dresses, I realized that its because they are so regal and gorgeous. It's like a prom dress- it's something that you will only wear once and you hope will make you feel absolutely stunning when you do. It has a sort of stigma that goes along with it.

So, when Austin and I got engaged, one of the first things I wanted to do was try on dresses. Since almost half of my bridesmaids live out of town (or state) I wanted to wait to try on some with them. However, I did sneak in a few other shops (mainly stores that were boutiques and would probably cost way too much (but when else am I going to have the chance to try on wedding dresses??).

(one regret....not getting a picture of my entire bridal party!!)

I learned a lot during all the shopping and trying on though.... 

1. My maid of honor is amazing. She maid these cute signs for everyone with us to hold up!

2. As much fun as I had (and knew I would) it's also very exhausting. I spent so much time searching, putting on, and taking off dresses that eventually I just needed a break. The day I went with my bridal party, we made a day of it and went to 2 places. In total, I tried on about 10 dresses in the span of 6 hours. At the end, I cried. I was just over it. 

3. I brought people with me that know me and that I knew would point out the good and the truth. Luckily, all 5 of my bridesmaids (including sister and future sister-in-law), mom, and future mother in law were able to make it. I wanted them there to share the experience because they know my taste (so they could help pick out dresses that I might have not thought of) and they knew when I liked it or hated it (because they know my reactions). They also refused to tell me what they thought about something until I told them my thoughts first. I couldn't have picked better ladies to surround myself with that day.

4. Wedding dress sizes are different from what you are use to in regular dress sizes. 

5. Don't compromise. My friends, mom, and step-dad kept telling me this and I refused to listen at first. I kept thinking, but it's cheap and I can turn it into something I'll love. The reality was, the costs of these changes would make it just as much as any other dress I was looking at. Now, I also wasn't in the market for $$$$, so knowing my limit and staying within it was easy, I just kept trying to pick cheap over me liking it. In the end, I waited it out until I found THE one. Best part? I didn't have to compromise.

6. going back to waiting it out.... if I think about it and do the math, in total I went to 5 different stores (but a store I visited twice and another I visited three times). It was a lot of time spent. But I'm glad I didn't just pick the first one I liked, because the one I LOVED came later.

As much fun as I had trying on dresses, I'm so glad that I found the perfect one and I can stop searching. The absolute best part is, that when I think about this gem (or look back at the pictures) I can't help but smile and become even more giddy for the wedding!!!


Monday, February 8, 2016

what the bbc?

Lately I've been binge watching Netflix shows like you wouldn't believe. I blame it mostly on long days and needing to just relax. In any case, I've been watching a lot of tv....maybe too much... but that's not the point... I realized today though that a good majority of the shows I've been watching are BBC.  British tv was never before my "thing", so how I ended up watching and then loving these shows is a bit beyond me. However, my binge watching self is very happy I've found them. 

A few I've been loving.....
 The first one that I started watching (with Austin) was Copper. It's about an Irish cop (hence the name) in NYC in the 1800s. It's a crime drama, but since it's also a historical piece, I pretty much loved everything about it (except the series ending....).

Ripper Street is the one I am currently watching. Since it has to do with Jack the Ripper, it is a little gruesome, so beware if that's not your thing. However one amazing thing about it....Mr. Darcy (Keira Knightly's Darcy that is) is the main character. I'm only on the beginning of Season 1, but I'm really liking it so far.

Yes, I know another Sherlock show, BUT this one is probably my favorite of all. Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock and plays the part amazingly. My bestie Leigh recommended this show to me a while ago, and while it doesn't have a lot of episodes in each season, I'm hoping that they'll keep filming more seasons. PLUS one of the characters in a season is named Stapleton!!! 

Okay... so the last of the serious crime dramas.... The Fall. I really liked this show, even though a lot of times it gave me nightmares. I made Austin watch this one with me for that very reason. It's about a detective that is trying to find a serial killer. We know who the guy is, so most of the time you're just screaming at the tv hoping the characters will hear and actually catch the dang guy. (Yea- I'll go ahead and admit that I'm THAT person....). The thing that bothered me about this show though, is that the serial killer (SPOILER) preys on pretty, young, brunette girls, which is ironic since his character in another show (50 Shades of Gray) preys on this type for his sexual partners..... Just too odd for me, and is still the reason I refuse to watch 50 Shades.

I;m extremely surprised that I enjoyed this show as much as I did. True, it's a period piece and I pretty much eat those up, but it's also less dramatic and reminded me of all those British shows I abhorred. However, I ended up loving the love triangle. 

The Mr. Darcy fan in me made me first read this book and then watch this short mini-series. (No, not redundant- just trying to make it clear how few episodes there are.) In case you're not a Pride and Prejudice crazy like me (and therefore haven't watched and read everything that might have to do with Mr. Darcy).... the show takes place after Darcy and Elizabeth are married and Lydia's scoundrel husband, Wickham is accused of murder. Scandalous, I know!!  Side note, the actress who plays Elizabeth Bennett is also in the next show.....

Another really short series, North and South is about a girl (well woman) is uprooted from South England (where there are lush gardens and nature all around) to the North (where it's mills and smoke in nature's place). She meets a mill owner and hates him, but then of course a love twist begins... I'll let you take a second to figure out how it ends. BUT I still really liked it... go figure.

So have you watched any of these? Or know of any more that I need to see? Please share~!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

engagement party....a little late

I can't believe how fast time has gone by since Christmas (okay, actually more like since we got engaged....which is still so surreal!!)!!!! Yea... a lot of !!! One thing that I've had on my to do list and share the wedding details and party plans, but time has gotten away from me. However I feel like if I don't put it here, I'll regret not having it to look back on later. So I'm retroactively posting (and hopefully doing a much better job from here on out).

When we started planning so many people gave us their personal input and what they had learned from their weddings. While I love that people wanted to share their ideas, one thing that stuck was how stressed the planning seemed to get. I know that there is sometimes no getting around that. Money=stress. Nothing new there. BUT Austin and I want to enjoy this time as much as we can. To be honest, he's been my rock- helping me to remember that it will all work out and God is with us on the adventure! But nonetheless it has it's moments.....  I don't intend to just share the good nor do I plan on harping on the bad. Instead, I want to be real about our ventures, but make the biggest deal of all on the positive and wonderful (with the end result being the best....I marry my best friend)!!!!!

So enough of the rambling......

The engagement party!!!!!!!

Since we got engaged the day before Halloween and our dating anniversary is Veteran's Day, I feel like having our engagement party around another holiday was just perfectly us. It also gave us another reason to party and dress up.

I found the cutest invitations for an Ugly Sweater Party on etsy and knew I needed them as our Engagement Party/Ugly Sweater Party invites. They were even more adorable than I had hoped.

Austin's family and mine worked so hard on helping out (my mom even got us an engagement cake)! We had friends from all walks in life (work, growing up, family friends) which just added to the amazing night. We asked for people to just bring a dish or drink (and we supplied the meat) and we ended up having more than enough food without having to break the bank.

This entire experience also showed us that our family and friends are more incredible than we could have imagined! They bent over backwards for us for this event. We are truly blessed.

Some more photos of the night........

xoxoxoxox,  kel