Saturday, March 5, 2011

Groom 3000 and I are not really into jewelry. I wear the occasional earrings, necklace, or watch, but more often than not, I forget to accessorize before I walk out the door. In the whole time we've been together, I haven't seen Groom with any bling--not even a watch. So when it came to looking for wedding bands, we were both kind of clueless.

We decided to start looking for Groom's ring first, thinking it would be a longer process since he had no idea what he wanted. I mean, he has to wear this thing for the rest of his life. After attending a Seattle bridal show, we decided to check out a Bellevue jewlery store we saw there. They had a large selection of men's wedding bands in a variety of metals. Our options were white gold, tungstun carbide, and titanium.

Tungstun carbide is a handsome durable option, but the metal is darker. Groom decided he wanted something a little flashier.

Titanium is scratch-proof, and shiny, but it can't be resized. If your ring size changes, you have to purchase a new ring. You also can't cut through it, which means if you are ever in the emergency situation where the ring must be removed, looks like you're losing a finger. That kind of freaked the Groom out.

So white gold won out with both the flexibilty and brightness Groomy was looking for. Now it came down to design. He likes to call his style "weird" while I prefer "unique." A plain gold band was out. After trying on several rings, this is what he picked:

Turns out, shopping for my ring was even easier. I knew I wanted white gold, so my only question was: plain wedding band or diamonds? My engagement ring already has a mostly diamond band, and after losing a diamond only a few months into wearing it, I'm now very cautious with it and find myself checking it everyday to make sure every piece is there.

After trying on a plain band, I realized my engagement ring would be overpowering next to it. It was then I asked about rings between the plain one and one that is completely diamonds. With diamonds on the front side to balance out my engagement ring, and a plain back for practicality, this is the ring I chose:

I'm so excited to see us both wearing our rings--I can't believe we're less than four months away!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Top of the Cake

Have you heard of the wedding tradition where the bride and groom exchange gifts on their wedding day? Really? You're exchanging rings, vows, promises that you'll love each other together forever...why the need for gifts? Weddings are expensive, so Groomy and I felt like exchanging gifts at our wedding would be silly when the wedding itself, not to mention the honeymoon, is one big gift.

Instead, we decided to splurge on a little something for the wedding that we can enjoy for years after. A custom cake topper! has a ridiculous number of insanely cute cake toppers made by hand out of clay, or wood, or pretty much whatever you want. They range in price from about $50 to more than $200 depending on how customized, and how accurate, you want your cake topper figurines to be.

First, I thought, how about little turtles? Little terrapins that could represent our Alma Mater, the Univeristy of Maryland. Then, I saw these by "Mudcards" out of Austin:

It was then that I thought--I must have this. I could picture our little selves, in clay form, standing on top of our chocolate cake, and then on our mantle at home. I contacted Mudcards, and sent her photos of my dress, hair, flowers, Groom's tux, close-up photos of the two of us, etc. Only a few weeks later, I got this photo in my email:

Ack! Love it! Sure, it's a little cartoon-y, but that's what makes it great. She did an awesome job on the details in my gown (there is a silver overlay to give a look of lace). Although Groomy hasn't seen it yet (he doesn't want to see the gown), we both agree this little splurge is well worth giving up the old traditional gifts.

Finally! The Big Dress Reveal (a.k.a. Don't read this if you're the groom...)

I already did the big apology post before in September, so I'll just come out with it this time: I'm bad at this. BUT with a renewed sense of purpose (and more wedding stuff to do now that we're LESS THAN 6 MONTHS AWAY), I'm going to try doing this again on a regular basis.

The first place I should start (so I don't leave any of you hanging)....the dress.

I went on the big hunt back in September when Momma and Daddy 3000 came out to Seattle for a week. Mom and I had three appointments booked in one Saturday, and honestly, I was expecting it to be painful. I'm not a super girly girl, and picking out a big white dress was WAY out of my comfort zone. I went in with some basic requirements: comfortable, lace, straps, classic. I ended up finding three different dresses--one from each store--that were hot contenders.

Meet the finalists:

From I Do Bridal in Seattle: Blu by Mori Lee collection
The lace is gorgeous, and look at those straps! Simple beading around the bust and neckline. This is everything I wanted, right?

From Amanda's Bridal Boutique in Redmond: Maggie Sottero "Dawn"
I felt like Barbie, in a good way! The dress has a retro feel with the faux belt. It's huge and I felt like the dress was propping me up, but it's so gorgeous!

From Bellevue Bridal Boutique in Bellevue: Alfred Angelo
No straps, but the stacked teacup effect was attractive Not really classic here, but lots of lace!

So which one will make it down the aisle this summer? It's time for the big reveal....

Keep scrolling....

Wait for it....

TA DA! It's the Mori Lee!

 This dress was everything I wanted, not to mention the lace is gorgeous and the simple beading gives just the right amount of sparkle. Beauty came in January and as soon as I put it on again, we were soulmates. The dress is still a little too long and the straps need to be shortened, so I'll need to get her altered. But before I can do that, I have to get my weddin' shoes. For a lady with severely flat feet, that's a whole 'nother issue.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An Ode to Cupcakes

How is it that I don't really like cake but I can't get enough of these cupcakes?!?!

I lived in the D.C. area for years and never once went to Georgetown Cupcake, now the star of its own TLC show, DC Cupcakes. Now that I've moved out to the Seattle area, Groom 3000 and I can't get enough of these local cupcake boutiques! They're everywhere! 

So far, we've been to New York Cupcakes where we picked up a six-pack of day-old cupcakes (by far cheaper than buying them fresh and just as good!) The packs came prepackaged so we got a variety of yummy (and pretty!) cupcakes. 

We found Pinkabella by accident. While strolling through an outdoor mall, I saw a lady walking with a pack of cupcakes. I had to go find those cupcakes. The searching around the mall paid off--we found Pinkabella and enjoyed two of their super cute and super delicious treats--with milk, of course. The shop itself is a pink wonderland--like you'd imagine your grandma's kitchen to be, if your grandma made hundreds of cupcakes every day. 

A beautiful Pinkabella tower of deliciousness. 

My favorite cupcake joint so far has got to be Trophy Cupcakes. Amid the Luis Vuitton and Gucci couture shops, there's this little cupcake place I wish I could call home. I had a salted caramel chocolate cupcake from this place (with some milk! Oh, 2% makes a cupcake go down soooo smoothly!) and I can't wait to go back. 

All this talk of cupcakes makes me really wish we'd looked into cupcakes as opposed to your standard wedding cake. I hear cupcakes are all the rage, but it all makes so much sense! You order the number you need, you can have as much variety as you want, and they're perfectly portioned! Did you know there's a standard size piece of cake? How do you cut the cake so precisely? Do you use a ruler? Gah! 

Before we moved, we met with Groom's stepsister's pastry chef colleague who baked us a mini yellow cake with chocolate icing in the cooking school kitchen. It made Groom3K so happy to have almost a whole cake to himself! Not only did we get a great deal on our cake (she only charges PER PERSON..not per size of the cake), we also got the flexibility to design our own cake. Chef drew up three sketches--a taller and narrower 3-tiered cake, a standard 3-tiered cake, and a tall 4-tiered cake. The dramatic shape of the 4-tiered version made it an obvious choice.  

Still, I can't help but dream of towers of cupcakes...



P.S. Countdown to the great dress hunt: 6 days!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bride3000 is back in business, baby!

It's been SO long since I've last posted and let me tell you, moving across the country is no simple task! That's right, we made our move to Seattle in late July and after a month of adjusting, unpacking, and settling in, I think we're finally at a point where we can take a deep breath and relax!

We completed so much of our wedding planning over the summer on purpose so we didn't have to worry about it once we moved. Good thing--moving is a lot of work! So let's refresh--I'm Bride3000--I'm planning my Summer 2011 wedding in Maryland from my new home in Seattle, and Groom3000 and I just graduated from college in May. It's been a wild summer but I'll do my best to catch you up in upcoming posts. But before I do that, I gotta share that I'm shopping for my wedding gown IN TWO WEEKS!!! Mom and Dad 3000 are coming to visit and then it's one hardcore dress shopping day. Yea, that's right--we have one day to try on, pick out, and buy. Am I crazy???

I've made my appointments at three local bridal shops and pray that one of them has "it." You know, "IT." The one that will make me bawl my eyes out. Now, Randy on "Say Yes to the Dress" says "it" doesn't always happen--but I know myself. When I find the dress, I'll just know. It happened when Groom3000 and I found my engagement ring--I tried on other rings but my mind kept coming back to one.

I can't imagine what I'll look like in a wedding gown. I tried on two--not because I wanted to, but because we were in David's Bridal looking at bridesmaids dresses and mom "made me"--and I just didn't know what to feel except "SO. MUCH. FABRIC."

But now that the real Dress Day is coming, I'm getting more and more excited to begin (and finish) the search. I have a budget--no more than $1000. It's crazy how much you can spend on a dress you'll wear once for only a few hours! Unbelievable!

Luckily, there are designers out there who understand. And the dresses are beautiful! I think I'd love a lace dress, and I've found a couple I can't wait to try on.

There's this one from Casa Blanca Bridal (style 2004 from the Fall 2010 collection):

And these from Allure Bridals:

Style 8751:

Style 8764:

Style 8770:

(On a side note: I WISH my hair looked this good when it was down.)

Anyone else looking for dresses? Am I crazy to try this in one day!?!?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Cake Confession

I don't like cake.

There, I said it.

I honestly don't know why. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, but sometimes the sponginess of the cake and dense icing is too much for my mouth. I'd take pie or cookies over cake ANY day.

Regardless, we're having a traditional wedding cake at our wedding. Groom3000 LOVES cake, so how could we not?

We had our first tasting today (of two) at a local bakery. Going in, we had a few ideas: square, off-set tiers, not a ton of decoration, and within $400. And we want chocolate icing. Yes, the traditional wedding cake is white. But for these chocoholics, a chocolate iced cake is a MUST! Besides, it's different, and we like that, too.

Mmmm, chocolate...drool.
Photo courtesy of www.annsbakery.ied 

So, today's tasting went...quick? We only sampled two flavors (chocolate and yellow) and two icings (Italian buttercream and regular buttercream). Although I wish we'd tasted some of the more specialized flavors (strawberry, lemon, butternut, etc.) the yellow and chocolate cakes were REALLY good! Moist and yummy--and I don't really like cake, remember? I preferred the Italian buttercream: less sweet so I could probably eat more of it :)

So the cake was good! But, the prices were a little surprising. A square cake costs much more than a circular cake. (Apparently, corners are costly!) In order to be in our budget, we'd have to go with a circular-tiered cake. I don't care either way, but Groom3K seemed a little sad about it ("Square cakes are more geometrically pleasing to the eyes"--I just love my math nerd). BUT, unlike most bakeries, we can pick from any cake flavor or filling for the same price. A definite plus since most bakeries charge more for special flavors.

We'll have another tasting in July with a pastry chef friend of Groom's sister. I look forward to comparing the pricing (and taste!)

Speaking of taste, we're having our reception menu tasting on Wednesday--steak, chicken, shrimp--now that's more like it! More to come!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pack, pack, pack---ackkk!

It seems like forever since I moved home from college, but still all I've been doing is pack. Unpack. Repack. Box. Bag. This post is not about the wedding (non-wedding related a.k.a. NWR) because packing has become so time consuming.

We're moving in a month and a half to Seattle but already the movers are coming to look at all our stuff. As of right now, my stuff is kinda all over my house. Momma3000 is just a little stressed about it to say the least. 

With my parents looking to move as well, I'm not only having to go through my typical belongings, but all my childhood possessions. Going through this stuff proves difficult when you're as sentimental as I am. For example: I went through all my old Barbies and found my favorite one--Wet n' Wild Christie. She had THE best hair (I've always been jealous of those with luscious locks), but one day, while dressing her, her head popped off. Yikes! 

A real Wet n' Wild Christie on eBay--too cool! I almost thought about buying a replacement!

What did I decide to do with my broken doll? I kept the head with her still-beautiful hair, of course! What am I going to do with it? I dunno. I just couldn't part with it!

This is probably how I've come to accumulate so much stuff in my short life. Groom3000 and I encounter a similar problem when going through our childhood things: we know we want to save some of the more precious possessions to share with our future children, but how do you decide what is precious enough to keep? Groom couldn't stand the thought of giving away his marble collection (do kids today even know how to play marbles). I feel guilty about giving some things away. But let's be serious: when we finally do have children, I know we're going to want to buy a whole slew of new stuff! I mean, have you seen the cool toys around today? A traditional Barbie just might not cut it.  

Although going through all my childhood stuff is not so fun, the good thing about our moving and my parents moving at the same time is they want to get rid of a lot of their furniture! You don't need that way-too-1980s-style couch that was hardly ever sat on because it was in the "formal" living room? A new brown slipcover and wow, we have a brand new couch! Groom's mom is looking for an excuse to upgrade her bedroom set and PRESTO! We're lucky our parents are so generous and we don't have to buy a ton of furniture once we get out West since I'll probably need to invest in a solid pair of rainboots (or a couple pairs).

You can't even tell this couch is 20+ years old!

On top of packing, we're in full wedding-planning mode. After vacation, we have a cake tasting, a meeting with our DJ, our reception menu tasting (surprise!), AND the movers are coming to survey our stuff. Gah!

Anyone else have a hard time letting go when going through their childhood possessions? What got to stay and what (unfortunately) had to go?