Archive for the ‘wedding’ Category


HORAH PERSONALIZED WALL ART | Jewish Wedding Gift | UncommonGoods. $300

I -so- wish that I could afford this piece for our walls. It is customizable with the text color (though I like the green best), and you can pick the bride and groom’s hair and skin colors. It would be 100% perfect if the artist could add glasses and a halter top to the bride!

We don’t even have a single wedding print up on the wall, the only photos we have at all are from some of my world travels in the study, the rest of the art on our walls are prints, paintings, and embroideries from all over the world. We’re so weird about our wedding photos. I made an album out of the proofs, but we STILL haven’t finalized our wedding album for printing (it has 2 too many pages and we’ve needed to thin it and thin it for the last 18 months, this is the 3rd or 4th round of edits!).

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I’m not an expert on planning a wedding, I only did it once, but I did do it with a lot of love and intention. [See the article I submitted and had published that says as much here: Wedding Graduates: Deena & Ben]

Here’s a list of my favorite wedding-y sites and why:

  • A Practical Wedding: they published my article! Also, it’s where REAL women talk about real wedding issues and let you have a glimpse into their lives, messy stuff and all. The people who write, read and comment on that site are an amazingly open and supportive community of practical gals.
  • Offbeat Bride, Altar Your Thinking. When you’re tired of the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) being shoved down your throat a you want to see busty gals in rockabilly wedding outfits, this is the your anti-David’s Bridal mental palate cleanser. You can read about anything from nerdy Star Wars themed weddings, to druids who married at RenFest, to a gay couple who had beautiful church weddings with a potluck reception. There’s some of everything that’s anywhere on the non-normative spectrum.
  • Wedding Bee: follow individual brides as they go through the last 8 months of wedding planning and then do lots of wedding recaps. There are a wide range of women who blog for this site ranging from classic Southern Belles who have big white dresses and church weddings to tattooed ladies who get married on Army bases.
  • Style Me Pretty: a fairly normative wedding blog that focuses on the garden chic aesthetic and has lots of crafty influences. The weddings featured here are mostly high end and too styled for my taste, but it does have lots of great inspirations.
Other than theses blogs, I recommend that you find vendors in your area who’s websites don’t annoy you and subscribe to their blog on your favorite RSS reader -I like Google Reader, it’s easy. (You don’t want to work with a vendor who annoys you before you’ve even met them!) Organize your subscriptions by LOCAL VENDOR and WEDDING BLOG and maybe a third category of REAL BRIDES for when you start finding personal blogs to follow (find them by clicking on the profile of commenters you like on the blogs listed above).
You may have noticed that I didn’t list The Knot. I think it’s designed to induce anxiety (too many to-do and check lists) and competitive cattiness (see the forums), plus who wants to look at all the homogenous weddings when you can look at creative ones!?
Did I miss anything? Please, comment and add any sites that you like(d) that I missed!

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Exactly one year ago I put on this dress (with the help of my girlfriends):
Then I met Ben in the rotunda of the St. Julien Hotel and Spa:
Then we went to our Bidekin:

taking the rabbi's talit to symbolize choosing my husband

Where we signed these documents:
And stood under this chuppah:
quilted chuppah
Where we drank wine:
Where supported by our Rabbi and our friends:
And supported by our families:
Put on our wedding bands:
Then we kissed:

the "OMG, we're married!" kiss (with our beautiful ketubah in the background)

And we realized how blessed we are (and kissed some more):
Partied a little:
Lit some bananas foster on fire:
And had lots of fun at a bar:
And ended the night hanging out alone here:

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This post was originally written on Weddingbee.com as Twirly Time! in August 2010

Pircilla of Boston, Vineyard Collection, Drew

That’s me below, twirling, with Becca’s niece. She had just watched Shrek before going shopping so we had to twirl like Princess Fiona. That was in August, 2009. I loved it, but boobs were WAY too big for the itty-bitty-boobies that the dress was cut for. I would have had to order up 4 sizes to get enough fabric in the bodice, and then have the rest of the dress taken in. Even my wonderful consultant, Michelle, didn’t advise this.

So I did some internet research and visited a local wedding dress seamstress to see about making this dress for me, in my size and with halter straps and pockets. I was quoted about the same price as the dress on sale and felt very uncomfortable with the seamstress; she didn’t want to make the dress because she hadn’t designed it. It wasn’t the idea of taking the 50’s inspiration and running with it, it was that she didn’t come up with the idea herself! Seamstress fail. I guess I know too much about sewing? I’d thoroughly inspected the dress when I’d tried it on the first time, specifically thinking that someone would be able to custom make it for me. Took the fun out it for her, I guess.

I continued to receive sales emails from Pricilla of Boston and an email from my consultant every 2-3 months. One day, while clicking through a sales email onto their website, I saw that there was a little symbol next to my dress. I looked around and figured out that the symbol meant that my dress could now be custom ordered to my measurements! WHOA! I called to find out what this meant and was told that for this dress, it would only be an extra $250 to get a custom muslin cut just for me with a full fitting and then another fitting when the real dress came in. OMG, totally worth it! I’m 5’2 and wear size 12 petite, and a 34DD, I didn’t think I would have an easy time finding a dress and assumed that I’d be spending around $200+ to have a dress rebuilt to fit me. Having a dress custom made to fit me for only $250 more than just the dress seemed like a steal to me. DEAL.

So, I made an appointment when I got the next email flyer for a sale (10% off, basically neutralizing the tax). I made an appointment with the same consultant I’d seen before and she had the dress waiting for me in the fitting room. She asked me if I wanted to try on any other dresses and I looked around and declined to try on more dresses, I just wanted MY dress. I’d already bought my shoes and brought them in with me, they were a PERFECT match.

We tucked a 1.5″ taupe ribbon over my neck to approximate the halter strap I’m going to have added on. I loved it and stood on the podium twirling and admiring myself in the dress before dashing back into the dressing room to grab my camera and take a few photos.

The seamstresses were all busy and couldn’t take my measurements, so Michelle (my consultant and I are on a first name basis now, she’s seem me in my skivvies a few times at this point) took my measurements and we went about ordering my dress. In order to make the strap I had to order an extra yard of fabric. 45″ wide, ivory silk taffeta, for only $20/yard! Even if the seamstress suggests bias cutting the strap’s fabric, I should still have enough fabric for pockets! I also ordered an extra yard of the tulle to make my own veil with. I think that was $8/year, but it’s polyester, not silk; but at least it’ll match perfectly!

Before my muslin fitting, I took myself to Sol, across the street from Pricilla of Boston, and got the most expensive bra I’ve ever owned. It’s amazing and totally holds up and locks in “the girls.” I test drove it at my cousin’s wedding last week.

(sorry gals, I totally forgot to take any photos of either fitting, yes I had two)

I had my first muslin fitting in mid May. It was more stressful than fun Undecided and I couldn’t sleep the night afterward. First off the torso was 2″ too long and with my boobs properly supported I needed to have the top inch of the zipper let out 1.5″ and the skirt was too long. I couldn’t zip my custom dress all the way up! That was the worst part of dress shopping, and now it was haunting my fitting. The seamstress said she could let it out in an hour and I went to get a light lunch.

The one thing that did make me feel good about my dress was making the sides more fitted, adding boning to the sides for structure and to hide my bra line, and loosing 3″ overall of volume in the skirt by tapering out the tucks on the hips all the way to the hem line. I was not excited by all the tucks that had to be made under my bosoms to shorten the torso and weird way pinned hem sat. I couldn’t sleep that night because I was so worried about how my dress would fit! I had ZERO anxiety when picking my dress, but my first muslin fitting caused major anxiety. WTF?

At 4 AM, after rolling around in bed for 3 hours, I emailed the store (they only have 1 email address? yeah, really weird) and said that I was up all night thinking about how my dress fit and wanted to make it even shorter still (so that it’s the same length on me that it is one the runway model), and that I wasn’t sure I liked how it was fitting, especially around my tummy. After I sent the email, I went back to bed and CRASHED.

In the morning I got a call around 11 AM (yes, I was awake, thankyouverymuch) and spoke with the seamstress. She said I could come in around 2 that day. I cleared my calendar and made sure to get there on time. I tried on my dress, full of pins and shortened another 1.5″ to a 3.5″ total, and was assuaged. It was all in my head! The torso fit the way it fit because my butt is in the way on the back side of the dress and I’m OK with that because I can’t change it.

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Oh my goodness, people. I’ve been published! Seriously! And 42 people have commented so far. The warm fuzzies are seriously flowing over at A Practical Wedding.

Please read my Wedding Graduate post over at A Practical Wedding:


Oh and I hope my dad doesn’t mind, but he had the sweetest comment so I’m going to repost it, along with the photo he’s talking about.

Deena – I like the way this reads.  Also very impressed by the rave reviews that follow.  You should download this or otherwise make sure tht you capture it for inclusion in your wedding files, as stuff on the web has a way of disappearing eventually.

The only suggestion I have for improving it at this late date would be to include a photo of you and Ben at the pool table at the after-party.

Sounds like you might be responsible for a mini-boom in twirly dresses!

Happy birthday.  Love, Dad










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First off, A Practical Wedding is where I feel like my wedding-planning peers reside. Real weddings, not stylized fluff and Anthropology window-esque scene setting. Real women and men marrying real women or men. Anyway, the article I’ve linked to above has a great bit that kinda makes me love the site more and me a little less. I am OHSNAP, even if it truly wasn’t me that wrote that question. I think every bloggy bride is OHSNAP, stalking their vendors and hoping to see themselves posted amongst the other beautiful vignettes that inspired them in the first place. Seriously, who doesn’t want to be an inspiration?!

Sarah & Luc's wedding, Brothers and Sisters

Second, can I just take a minute to point out that I LOVED Sarah Walker’s outfit in Sunday’s Brothers and Sisters. I can’t help but feel that she was going for the same rockin’ 50s-ish vibe I did with my own wedding outfit. Twirly, flirty, fun, and with kick ass heels and a poofy veil to top it all off. I seriously looked at veils like hers, but realized that I wanted something more traditional to cover my face with at the bidekin. POOF! YEAH!

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A friend filmed our ceremony with a very fancy camera, in PAL format. He does not have the equipment to transfer his tape to DVD for us and has been flailing about it every time her remember, for the last 6 months. I’m not quite ready to give up, but I’m not going to hold my breath either.

A family friend of Ben’s recorded bits and pieces of our ceremony on a FLIP camera, but missed most 1/2 of the guts of the ceremony (got the processional, 7 blessings in English, birkat cohanim, and then the glass smashing and recessional) followed by 4 minutes of his pocket. Oops.

Someday,  hope to see the entire ceremony, including the secular reading and listening to Rabbi Marc’s intro. Oh well, a girl can hope, right?

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But I’m starting to burn out on wedding crap. Poo.

I started looking at wedding crap about a year after we officially moved in together, in May 2008. Now, after about 6 weeks of being officially engaged, I’m burning out. Thankfully we’ve got the part that we really care about set, our rabbi. He was happy to have free plane tickets (my parents have a gajillion frequent flyer miles) and 2 nights of lodging. We’ll let him pick the dates/airports for his flights and then he can vacation in the DC area too.

Potential venues need to be contacted. I need to go visit them with my mom and the dude while I’m home for a week around the first night of Passover (first full week of March). So far we’ve got 4 major contenders, the DC JCC, Airlie Center (one of the secure locations outside of DC, in Virginia), Algonkian Regional Park, and The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.

To keep me going for the next month, I asked my dad to buy and send me copies of some local wedding magazines so that I can look at the advertisements from home instead of the ones for where I live (Colorado), which aren’t very helpful in planning from a distance. He’s in advertising, so he thought it was GREAT that I wanted him to buy me some trashy reading just to read the ads. Maybe he’ll have a look in the magazines too.

My dad also told me that my mom was a very “whatever” kind of bride. The dude and I have decided that we’re not having any attendants and that we don’t want to write our own vows. We’re just fine with picking out a bad-ass ketubah and having that read out loud. I kind of want my dad to read Oh, The Places You’ll Go and have someone (the dude’s sister, who gave me the book) read a passage from Tuesdays With Morrie and an excerpt from the Mass. Supreme Ct. decision upholding same sex marriages ’cause I think that rocks.

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