Friday, October 21, 2011

Gifting My Gals

I've heard all over the hive how lovely Etsy is. I have always agreed, but I haven't had much luck. I turned to Etsy to find a cheaper alternative to my dream veil. So far, no one has replied to my custom order requests, or the replies had price offers that were no better than what I was going to get from the bridal shop.

But when I gave up on my veil, the possibilities started opening up. Etsy is the perfect place to find great gifts for your wedding party! I've got a huge wedding party. It's really, really, really big. Yet I still want to gift these amazing people who have decided to be a part of our wedding. I just don't want to spend an amount equivalent to the cost of our flowers or honeymoon.

Etsy has a ton of options, and just by browsing around, I've found some amazing ideas for gifts. It's like they knew I was coming! I knew I didn't want to give the gifts in a plain old paper gift bag, I wanted to give their gifts in a bad they could use again, a bag that would be another gift in and of itself. Seller Personalized Gifts by J had a bunch of options that I like.
Image via Etsy Seller Personalized Gifts by J

Image via Personalized Gifts by J
Image via Personalized Gifts by J
 And this seller gives a discount for buying multiples. That makes this bride happy. I intend to buy bags for my 6 bridesmaids, the 2 maids of honor, the 2 junior bridesmaids, the 3 hostesses, the 2 flowers girls, and one for myself. that's 16 bags!

I also saw something that finally pulled me off my desire to get flasks for all the women. I know my mother may disapprove, and that's not a deal breaker, but it's a deal bender. So I found another option. Something girly, decorative, still personalized, but much more classy. Oh, and did I mention waaaaay more affordable? Hive, I introduce you to Seller Madison Craft. She has so many of these lovely hand mirrors to choose from. I looked at them all and picked out ones that would be perfect for the women in the bridal party.

Image via MadisonCraft
Image via MadisonCraft
Image via MadisonCrafts
 I figure that these gifts, along with the gold earrings Grandmother Kettle is buying for the bridesmaids is a great start. I intend to gift these chicks at the rehearsal dinner, so I'm thinking about including supplies for what will likely turn into a big pre-wedding slumber party later that night.

Also, I still have to figure out what to gift the men. I'm hoping Mr. Kettle can help with that. He's got 8 groomsmen, we each have a best man, and I have 2 additional bridesmen. Le sigh.

What gifts did you give your wedding party? How much do you love Etsy?

How To Be A Rebel Bride - Wedding Registry Edition

Hive, it's done! I've finally completed our wedding registries. It only took 6 people 5 months to do it, but it got done. I feel like I managed to register for exactly what we needed and wanted. There are all these suggestions of what we should be registering for. In fact, I printed off a three page list with suggestions, But I tossed those suggestions right out the window.
Well, I didn't throw it out the window, but I did get rid of the list. I thought about Mr. Kettle and the life we plan to have in the next 10 years or so.

We definitely needed some classic wedding registry stuff (such as wedding china), but we also needed some non-classic stuff (such as bicycles). Our registry planning got off to a slow start, a real slow start. To illustrate, I've done a cartoon. I had to edit it so you could actually read it this time.

Personal Cartoon

Personal Cartoon

Personal Cartoon

Personal Cartoon
 The first thing we registered for was our wedding china. Momma Kettle and one of her best friends came with Mr. Kettle and I to Macy's. It only took us four hours (only!), but we got it done! After that ordeal, it took us a long time to get back on board with finishing the registry.

During my birthday weekend, BM Law and BM Libra (who's birthday weekend it also was), were with me while I finished my registries at Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma. I still had to finish Target (yay for bicycles), but I figured I'd do that online.

If I've learned a couple things from doing my registry, it's this:
  • Don't be afraid to price compare between your registries. The KitchenAid stand mixer was available at all 4 stores, but I went for the one that looked the best at the best price.
  • Keep track of your password. Target updated their online registries and I forgot my password so I had to start a new one. Hopefully, our guests will know the correct one is the one with more than one thing on it.
  • If it works better for you, add to your registry both in-store and on-line. I never would've started or finished without both those options.
  • Decide for yourself what works best for your registry. If you want a jump rope, add it in!
Also for your viewing pleasure, some of my favorite registry items:
Huffy Ladies Fresno Cruiser Bike - Purple (26)
Image via: Target / Huffy Ladies Fresno Cruiser Bike - Purple
kate spade new york Dinnerware, Palmetto Bay 5 Piece Place Setting
Image via Macy's / kate spade new york Dinnerware, Palmetto Bay 5 Piece Place Setting
Mauviel Copper 12-Piece Set
Image via Williams-Sonoma / Mauviel Copper 12-Piece Set
Image via Crate and Barrel / KitchenAid® Artisan Copper Stand Mixer
 My new favorite kitchen metal is copper. Too bad all my old stuff is stainless steel. I think that I will find a way to make my old stainless steel work with my new and fabulous copper!

Have you finished your registry? How long did it take you to do it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dress Shopping With My Momma

My dress is already ordered. The bridesmaid dresses are already ordered. If you read my last post though, you'd know there were still a number of women involved with this wedding who weren't yet dressed.

When I talked about Momma Kettle's wedding clothes options, I thought she might be leaning more towards getting a suit, like what Grandmother Kettle got. But, I was completely off. When I mentioned that I figured she'd look best in something similar to what she wore for my cotillion, she seemed a bit un-enthused.

Turns out, she definitely had an evening gown in mind, but not one like she wore at the cotillion. The cotillion had all these rules about what had to be covered and her dress had long sleeves. For the wedding, she had something a little less... covered in mind.

Off we went to West 95th street, in search of a bridal shop. I'm not sure whether or not we ended up at the same place Mima Kettle got her dress from or not. We just stopped at the first store we saw. We went inside and met a lovely young woman who got us started on finding the perfect mother-of-the-bride gown.

I showed her some pictures Momma Kettle and I brought from a magazine to give her an idea of what we were looking for. She found a couple dresses that fit the basics and we went to the dressing room. It was really nice to be on the other end of the dress trying on.
Personal photo: My chair set up at the viewing area outside the fitting rooms
She began trying on dresses. The first one she put on fit our requirement of a very elegant dress. All the dresses are in colors that may not necessarily be what we would've ordered them in.
Personal photo: This dress was very elegant and pretty. But it wasn't much besides that And the train, while beautiful, could possibly interfere with my mother's dancing on the wedding night. Momma Kettle is a dance machine!

Personal photo: Neither of us really loved this dress. But seeing this photo now, it looks pretty amazing. But we still ruled it out while we were still at the store.

Personal photo: After seeing the elegant dress, we wanted to see a fun dress. This dress was definitely fun!

Personal photo: There was a bolero that went with it that we loved. there was also a train/cape thingee that we couldn't figure it out.

Personal photo: At this point we were having too much fun! After not being able to figure out what the train was doing, we decided it should be a cape. Momma Kettle is so much fun.
When we were trying to sort through the dresses, we decided we'd choose one of these. Another saleslady came over to "help", but I found her extremely annoying. She wasn't being helpful. She was just trying to take over our first lady's appointment. Knowing, they work on commission, I wasn't having that.

I dragged our first lady off to find this other dress she mentioned. That gave my mother a chance to talk the ear of the other woman, who was thankfully gone when we got back with the dress. She put my mom into the dress and she walked out in it. It was great! Just see for yourself.
Personal photo: It was a bit too large, but it was super cute. It was elegant, sexy, fun, and everything we wanted for her dress that night.

Personal photo: This fabric color is called "honey". It's a beautiful neutral color that's in the golden family. It's a chiffon fabric and will be fabulous!

Personal photo: This is the dress on the mannequin. Zoomed in so you can see the pretty swooped fabric.
We ordered the dress and and were very happy to do so. Because we got it from a bridal shop, we had to put a rush order in (+$60) to get it here in time for the wedding. But it doesn't matter, because she's got her dress.

I also want to clarify about the clothes for people who aren't bridesmaids. I think it might be a cultural difference kind of thing. But most weddings I go to at my church have everyone coordinated who's even loosely related to the wedding.

Imagine a procession of of 25 family members all dressed in white clothes and black/silver shoes. That's how things are around here. By giving my family three-four different color options for clothes and letting them pick their own jewelry and shoes with only loose guidelines for color is actually seen as easy-going.

There are people who hand-pick stuff their second cousin wears to the wedding. That's why it's good to have Weddingbee.  Hive, you keep me in perspective. I've always thought planning out clothes for the entire family was a bit crazy.

I figured making sure those who would be wearing corsages and bouts are coordinated would be pretty tame by comparison. But I decided to back off and let people wear what they want. And in typical contrary fashion, as soon as I called my grandmother to tell her it was fine is she wore silver, she said she had thought about it and decided she didn't want to be the only person in silver and would be sticking with her gold accessories. After all, she doesn't even like silver.

I'm deciding to put the women's clothes on the list with the men's tuxes. I haven't asked much about the tuxes since that fiasco. I'm 100% sure the neither Mr. Kettle nor Daddy Kettle have gotten their tuxes yet. But we're still over 100 days out, so it's no big deal, right? Right?

How was dress shopping with your mom? Have you ever gone overboard on planning other peoples' roles in your wedding? Is that just me?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Clothes For Non-Bridesmaid Chicks

One of the many, many things that still need to be done for this wedding is to find clothes for important women involved with my wedding. My wedding party is huge, so there are lots o' women to clothe. Let's get to it!

Momma Kettle: We still don't know what she's wearing. I'd like her to wear something like this.
Image via Macy's / Dress by JS Boutique

Image via Macy's / Dress by BCBGMaxAzria
She may be leaning more towards a suit, but hopefully not.

Grandmother Kettle: She is being very frustrating. She found a great suit at Burlington. I helped her pick it and it's beautiful. It's a great color and she will look great on my wedding day. Just one problem, it has rhinestones on it and she has decided she must wear silver accessories. This is after months of her celebrating that gold was going to be my accent metal for the wedding.

Usually, I'm not a fan of gold unless it's white gold. I made an exception for the wedding. Grandmother Kettle wears gold everything all the time. But she's just being contrary. It sucks, but she's determined to be difficult. She has make-something-that's-not-about-me-about-me-by-any-means-necessary syndrome. Moving on.

Mima Kettle: Mr. Kettle's mother found a great dress too. I haven't seen it yet, but I hear form her and FSIL Grand that it's lovely. They were one their way to Lumber Liquidators with Poppa Kettle one day down west 95th Street in Oak Lawn. There are a ton of dress shops on that street. They stopped in one to check on a dress FSIL Grand thought she might like. Just by checking around quickly, Mima Kettle found a dress she loved. And the best part is it will look great with gold accessories!

FSIL Grand: A while back she sent me photos of dresses she might want. She hasn't found a dress yet, but I will show you what she had in mind.
Image via Dessy
Hostesses: Lastly, there are the hostesses. So far there is my cousin, Mr. Kettle's niece, and possibly another girl who I mentor at my church. We have to find a dress that will look good on all three who have very different body types. We haven't found anything perfect just yet, but I really need to get on it in case they need to be ordered and shipped. I looked at this website that I got my hostess dress from for a wedding a couple years ago. Here's some dresses I've seen that could work.
Image via eDressMe / Dress by Darling

Image via eDressMe / Dress by James and Joy

Image via eDressMe / Dress by von Vonni
Any of these in a champagne, purple, or gold color would work.

Am I crazy to want the immediate family in gold accessories as well? Is your family matching your wedding color palette?