Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Alternatives

After I changed my wedding to a destination wedding, I had to change the criteria of my dress. I previously wanted a beautiful lace gown like this Melissa Sweet gown.
I think it is a very beautiful indoor gown, but now that I knew I was getting married outside, I wanted something with a little bling, that would sparkle in the sun.

Destination brides also have a few more factors to think about like being able to take the dress with you on the plane, where they will store it on the plane (buy a seat just for your dress?!), how wrinkled it will get (will the hotel be able to steam it for you?) and also just the basic beach weather elements, how will the fabric take to sand, wind, salt, etc... I don't want the dress to be too heavy, obviously because it will probably be a bit balmy in Jamaica and I don't want to be uncomfortably hot. But also because I know I have to carry that baby all over the airport and some wedding dresses feel like they're 15 pounds!

I came upon Jenny Yoo and found that she has a "Wedding Alternatives" collection that seem to be really good for destination brides. The dresses are all simply designed, but beautiful and appear to be very light weight. None of the dresses have trains on them, which is actually something that I want, but nonetheless there are a few that I would take into consideration for a cliffside wedding like mine.

Chloe

Evelyn


Mika


For any one of these, adding a brooch, or even a sash with crystals sewn onto it, would give it just the right amount of sparkle. All of these dresses are available in other fabrics also, which I think is great idea.

The pricing in these dresses are really good, depending on what kind of fabric you want, it ranges from $400 - $900. A beautifully made wedding dress for under $1,000! I think that's a very good deal. I'm still on my search for my gown, but these dresses have sparked an interest in me to find something that might just be an "alternative" and not a "true" wedding dress.

All of the Jenny Yoo dresses can be found here.

Valentine's Day Hints

Valentine's day is just around the corner! I don't know about you but I always drop my (not-so) subtle hints to my fiance about what I want. I got my Daily Candy e-mail today and they showed the cutest necklace so I had to put it up here.

It's by a local designer here in Seattle, Sophie Gardner. I've seen her jewelry at Illi, a little Italian designer boutique in South Lake Union and her pieces are so beautiful and fun. The necklace is $585 in gold and $195 for the silver version. What an adorable and appropriate present for Valentine's day!

Another one that I like:


I love anything that involves crowns and hearts and I think this design puts them together so well. I really love that she uses rose gold too.

Any other fun V-day gift ideas out there that I can send hints to my man? :)

Click on the pictures above to be taken to the website

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dressed to kill (or marry) :)

I've been on a massive dress hunt since December. I have 2 dresses that really stand out in my head but I keep on telling myself that I need to keep looking. Here's the two:
Jim Hjelm
Rivini
I have no idea what the names of these two are, but both are around $4,000-$5,000. I tried them both on at La Belle Elaine's in Seattle, which I have to say was a terrific experience. They have this awesome runway that you get to walk on and feel like a fabulous model in your dress. Pictures are not allowed there so unfortunately did not get any pictures of me in them. (On a side note, can I just say that the whole trying on a sample size dress and getting clamped into it is so weird? I've never seen so many clamps on my body all at once!)

My opinions of wedding dresses completely changed when I tried them on. I brought in all these pictures of silk sheath dresses or gorgeoue Monique Lhuiller lace dresses but when I tried them on, they just did not hang on my body that well (which I think the size 10 sample had to with it too). But also they just weren't "me". When my bridal consultant had me try on a trumpet/mermaid style gown, I just knew, that was the style for me. I also went in with all intentions of getting a non-strapless gowns, but after persuasion from my sister, mom and the bridal consultants, they convinced me I HAD to go strapless. And then I had to admit to myself that the strapless dresses were quite pretty and none of the dresses with straps looked good on me anyway.

So here's the dilemma that I'm at, should I just go ahead and choose one of those two or keep looking and drive myself crazy even more? I feel like if I keep looking, it might take me another 3 months to decide. Ack! How long did it take you to pick a dress?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ShopStyle

So this is kind of wedding related but not... I just found this website, ShopStyle.com I doubt it's new, but I wanted to share because I'm having too much fun with it. It's this site that's linked to all the major online retailers and you can just browse all the clothes, shoes, handbags to your hearts content all at once!

I buy a lot of my clothes online, mainly because I can usually find my size, whereas I can never find them at the department stores. (Try going to Nordstrom and find a pair of size 25 True Religions, I guarantee they won't have it.) I'm an avid shopper at Revolveclothing.com and Shopbop.com. If those didn't exist, I wouldn't have half my wardrobe. Anyway, using this handy little site, I don't have to browse through all the separate sites and if I'm looking for a little black dress, I can do one search and have millions of options!

Another fun thing is you can create "looks" which is way too entertaining for me. I love putting together these outfits. I put together a little outfit that I would wear to my bachelorette party (which by the way, will be in VEGAS!)


Unfortunately they don't have wedding gowns yet, just a few from J.Crew and Ann Taylor, but you can still browse through the shoes and jewelry. Here's a simple wedding look that I created:



Have fun!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

If the shoe fits

If you know me well or have been reading this blog, you know that I adore shoes. I have finally found THE shoes and had to share with you. I got them in the mail last week and they are just as pretty as in the picture!


Gucci - Hollywood


I got them at saks.com and used a code for free shipping! They are 4 1/4" high which is perfect for a little shorty like me. :) I bought them as soon as they got on the website (I stalk saks.com and neimanmarcus.com like nobody's business) and luckily I did because the size 5's are already out! Apparantly I'm not the only small foot that's on a hunt for beautiful silver shoes! I've been trying them on before bed every night because I'm crazy like that. Every time I put them on they make me so happy!

I hope everyone else has as much good shoe luck as I've been having!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where it will all take place...

I chose Tensing Pen because of it’s intimate location and feel. At full occupancy it can only fit 43 people so I know that even if other people are staying there, my wedding will not be too instrusive to them or them to us.

J and I have decided to stay in the Rock Cottage for the duration of our stay. I love how it is perched over the cliff and overlooks the beach.

Some pictures of the other cottages that our guests will be staying at. I really love how these aren’t traditional hotel rooms but everyone will get their own individual cottage.
Picture of the famous hammock. I read so many reviews on how great it is to hang out at this hammock. I also saw one couple that got married there and only had two guests so Tensing Pen set up their reception dinner in that little hut!
I don’t have a good picture of the cliff that we are getting married on, but here is the seating area for the guests and as you can see the background is gorgeous!! For larger parties the reception is held in this area so I’m very excited to find ways to decorate it.



Some of the pictures of the cottages are from negrilonestop.com
Please note that I saved these pictures when planning awhile back and have no clue to where I stole them from. If they are yours please let me know so I can give you credit!

There's a good reason why I've been gone!

Been busy for the past few weeks so haven't had time to blog! I spent a very fun, very exciting week in London and ended the trip with... THE SPICE GIRLS!!

It's definitely nice to have connections. Our seats were on the floor, 3 rows back. I had the perfect view of the entire concert and haven't screamed like that since I was 8 years old. =) I'm not even that big of a fan of the Spice Girls, but I figured, if I'm gonna see the Spice Girls might as well go all out and see them in their hometown and make a fun weekend out of it! That I did and you should see the swag I got out of it too.

J and I celebrated his birthday this past weekend. And I also have a few new and exciting (but also nerve-wracking) things coming up at work, so I've stayed away from the internet for a bit. Anyway, will have a new wedding related post up soon!

The Spice Girls images are all mine from my own little camera. If you want to use them feel free but let me know! I have a TON more pics for anyone that wants to see too! =)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Where? (Part 2)

While searching for hotels, J stumbled upon the Aman Resorts. This website just makes you want to take an exotic vacation. The locations and the resorts are so gorgeous. In their wedding section, they list all the resorts that are able to hold weddings. From Thailand, to Bali to Bora Bora and even Sri Lanka, all the resorts are located in possibly the world's most beautiful locations. The one that caught my eye was Amanyara located in the Providenciales (Turks & Caicos).






I was getting super excited just looking at the pictures until I looked at the rates. The cheapest room was $1,450 a night! I would never expect my guests to pay that much for a room to come to our wedding. Back to the drawing board, but J and I knew that one day, we would stay at the Amanyara, whether it be for our honeymoon or just a vacation.

I went back to looking at Jamaica because after seeing the Rockhouse, I was convinced that there had to be another resort in Negril that would have the same small hotel ambiance. Through the desination wedding boards on theknot.com, I discovered Tensing Pen resort. Many knotties highly recommended it and so did many reviewers on tripadvisor.com. I checked out the website and the rates were quite reasonable! They have rooms starting from $107 - $198. They also have cottages with 3 bedrooms so friends or family could stay together to help lower the costs.

I called Tensing Pen and crossed my fingers that they weren't booked also. Lucky for me, they still had availability for 2008. Woohoo! I picked a date and they reserved it for me and that is how the journey of my Jamaican wedding came to be!

Just a quick note: the Tensing Pen website is not Firefox friendly. Please use Internet Explorer when viewing their site.

Pictures of Amanyara are all from Flickr. top 2 are from gilbert g and the bottom one is by jmcminn

Where? (Part 1)

A common question I get after I tell people my wedding is in Jamaica is “how did you choose Jamaica?”, so I thought I’d put together a post of how I came about and chose my beautiful venue in Negril, Jamaica.

It took me about 6 months after we got engaged to actually start planning my wedding. I had been offered a job in London shortly after we were engaged and the discussions of moving and becoming an expat in the UK consumed most of our time and thoughts. Once we came to the conclusion that we would not be moving, the wedding planning was on full force. I did a lot of work in planning my hometown wedding until one day I woke up and said “Screw this. We’re having small wedding in a beautiful location.”

To give you a little background on us, J and I are a very modern, trendy couple. He is hands down the best dressed man I know and I didn’t win “best wardrobe” in high school for nothing ;). We live in a concrete loft in downtown Seattle which means super tall ceilings and pipes running through our place. Not for everyone, but perfect for us. We always knew that we were always going to have a more modern stylish wedding, with a lot of personal details.

Anyway, onto my quest of finding the venue location. My fiancé was flipping through his GQ and saw an article on the most gorgeous, modern hotel in Puebla, Mexico. La Purificadora.





Beautiful right?! I did my research on the internet and found that Puebla was too far inland to have a wedding by the water, which was one of my requirements. La Purificadora is part of a major hotel group called Design Hotels. The interior designs of each of their hotels are just gorgeous. Check out these pictures of La Reserve in Paris, France.





On the website you can search their hotels by region, so I checked out all the hotels in Mexico and the Carribean. The moment I clicked on the Rockhouse Hotel, I instantly fell in love.




I knew that I had to have my wedding there. So I called them up and asked about their availability for 2008. The answer was “We are completely booked”. What?! I called them July 2007 and was looking for a November 2008 date! I was so so sad. The reason was, is that the Rockhouse wants to make sure that every wedding they put on is very special so they only have 20 a year. For all the brides getting married at the Rockhouse, I envy you. I know it will just be beautiful.

After I found out the bad news, my quest to find a place was back on. I scoured the internet and found many places like Sandals resorts or Beaches resorts in the Caribbean that hold weddings, but those places were just too big and a bit too “commercialized” for my taste. I really wanted something small and intimate that we could make our own.

So the search continued…

New Direction

I've decided to take my blog into a new direction and make it more of a destination wedding blog. There seems to be very few out there, and the ones I do find are about having a really "beachy" wedding which is just not my style. I hope that my experiences throughout my planning process will help other destination - specifically Caribbean - brides!



photo credit: capturingreallife on flickr. Click on the picture to see the big version. It's such a great picture!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First post of the new year!

Happy New Year everyone! The first post of the year is on my very favorite topic, SHOES!

I was searching for the Christian Louboutin bridal collection this morning when I found this article from Shoella.com

Women really love their Louboutin shoes. According to the Orange County Register the designer packed out the local Neiman Marcus, signing his signature red soles. A story in the Seattle Times recently talked about a woman who rushed back into her burning house during the California fires to save her Loutboutin high heels. The good news is that this popular designer now also makes a special bridal shoe. Instead of a red sole they have a baby blue one and take care of that “wearing something blue” issue. His bridal styles are some of the most gorgeous satin wedding shoes on the market. But these shoes are rare -they are available only by special-order.

Christian Louboutin
941 Madison Ave., nr. 74th
212-396-1884

Gotta love the woman that saved her Louboutins from the fire. I'd probably save my doggies first and then go back for my Loubs. :) (which to update from an earlier post, I did finally crack and bought my first pair of Louboutins and I love them to pieces).

I would love to see a pair of these elusive blue soled Loubs... This is the best I could find, blue with the red soles... still quite lovely.

No Prive Eel from footcandy.com

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