Sunday, December 27, 2009

We're Getting There...

So, we met with 2 photographers over the holidays and have decided to go with Lorraine Daley. We also set up our time slot for the tasting at Normandy Farm on Jan 31 for 1:00. I also am in the process of booking make-up for the day of- I have decided to go with Cheekadee. Next on the list: hair, ceremony music, and a DJ.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Invitation Sites

Here's a list of online invitation sites I got from ads in a bridal magazine. I'm sure some of them aren't so great, but it's a lot easier to keep track of them all if I just put them online... Let me know if you have any suggestions or know of any other sites to loook at!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hair & Make-Up

Think I'm gonna be using Cheekadee for my make-up. They're located in Philly, which is where I will go to have my trial done- but on the day of the wedding, they come to me! If anyone is interested, it's $75 if you want to have it done on the day of the wedding. I'm not really expecting anyone feeling the need to have their make-up professionally done, but figured I'd throw it out there just in case. They require a 3 person minimum, and we've already met that, so no pressure!

Photography Update

We were supposed to meet Lorraine Dailey at 3:00 and Liz Warnek at 5:00... but the snow storm prevented that from happening. We might meet with Carol McDonald on our way up to Maine tomorrow, but we're going to wait to see what the roads are like before making any decisions...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dress Pics - Up for One Day Only!

I'm posting some pics of my dress that I took this weekend. I'm leaving most of them up for today only, because I don't want everyone to see what I'm going to look like!

There are pics of the dress with and without straps- still haven't decided which I like better....

Click on the pics to see them enlarged.

Dress Fabric:


Update: I took the pictures down so the dress would still be a surprise for most- and to make sure Scott didn't accidentally see it!












Sunday, December 13, 2009

Decision Made

I stuck with my original decision- so I have officially found the dress!!! It is from the Betsy Robinson's private label bridal collection. It is beautiful! I haven't decided whether it will have straps or be strapless, but it is currently strapless. It is a trumpet-style dress with a beaded sweetheart neckline. It has all over shimmer, which comes from sections of beading around lace over satin. The people at Betsy Robinson's Bridal were soooo helpful and really made me feel great about my decision- they did not pressure me at all. I feel much calmer about everything and am very happy with my decision!

Dress Shopping


Yesterday was a long day of dress shopping. I was very thankful to have my mom, Laura, and Christina with me- it was really helpful to have their input. At the end of the day, we were all ready to make a decision, so.... I got a dress! Even though I love the dress, I am worried that I made my decision too soon. To ease my fears, I'm going back to the bridal salon today at 3:00, just to make sure there's nothing that I overlooked during the first appointment. When I chose the dress that I chose, I really thought it looked like "a little too much" when it was on the hanger. When it was on, it was a completely different story. But I am worried that I might not have been looking for similar styles because initially I wasn't sure I would even like it when it was on. I know I'm being a little crazy about all this, but I feel like this is a HUGE decision. I'm hoping my second trip will ease my fears and I'll leave there much more confident about the choice I made. Will post the outcome of the appointment when I get back!!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Photographers

Photographers in the area:
I like some of these guys more than others. I really like Carol McDonald, although she photographs in the Poconos. I emailed her to see if she'd be willing to travel to eastern PA for our wedding, because her rates are much more reasonable than lots of the photographers in the Philly region. Even if she charged to travel, it would probably still cost less than some of these other photographers, and I think it'd be worth it since I like her photography style. I emailed everyone on this list to see more about packages/rates/availability. Will post more as I narrow down the search. Oh- we also started looking at music for the ceremony/cocktail hour this weekend. We're awaiting a few CDs, so I'll post more about that after we get more info in the mail.

Save the Date's On the Way!

Save the Date's are DONE!!!! Expect to get the finished product sometime this week! Here are our cheesy pictures capturing one of our first wedding "moments":





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dresses by Watters

I saw that Watters has a trunk show December 11, 12, & 13th at a bridal shop that's only a few minutes away from my house (Betsy Robinson's Bridal). I figured I would look closer at these dresses to see if any were worth going to see. I really didn't find any that I truly loved, but here are the ones I liked:

  • Casandra -
  • Clarissa -
  • Francesca - even though I don't think I want strapless, I should at least try one on to see...
  • Gloria - I wish the beading went all the way to the bottom of this dress
  • Ivette -
  • Love - I kind of like this, minus the brooch
  • Patricia - I don't think I really want spaghetti straps, but you never know
  • Toulouse - this style is a little different from what I would normally like, but I think I'd like to try it just to see what it looks like when it's on

Monday, November 23, 2009

Save the Dates

Check em' out. Still a lot to put together, but here's the finished product!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Updated Save the Dates


So... my perfectionism got the best of me and I chose new envelopes and a new font for the save the dates. Here they are:











Here's the idea for the save the dates. After hours of frustration with Microsoft Word, I've decided to do them scrapbook-style. The base of them is pink/gray, and I've made a little envelope thingy to place the magnets in. Check it out:


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dresses

Since we've found a place to have the wedding, I'm excited to start looking at dresses now. What do you think of this one?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Save the Dates


I'm thinking magnets... I haven't decided whether I'm going to make them or if I'm just gonna order them online, but I started the envelopes today. I just got some plain white ones from Joann's and printed the addresses on. I also decided to make them look a little fancier and stamped some silver swirls on the front and back. I also got some beautiful paper (perfect shades of pink and gray) for some other DIY stuff in the future. Bridesmaids- if you click on the picture of the envelopes, the picture will enlarge and you can see your name- I blurred out the street addresses :)


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wedding Location

After a long, long, Saturday- we're 99% sure we've chosen our wedding location. As long as everything promised reads true in the contract, there really is no reason why we won't have the wedding here. It is very reasonably priced and gives us a nice place to have the ceremony and reception, in addition to a place for all of our family & friends to stay. While I'm not thrilled about the exterior appearance (not a fan of the hotel or barn in the ceremony background), things are beautiful inside of the facility. I'm exhausted, but very excited to start planning more of the "fun stuff" now! Here's a slideshow of some of the pictures I took while we were there yesterday:

Busy Saturday

Saturday was a very long, but productive day. We saw all the places we had planned to see, which ended up giving us great insight because each place was so completely different. Here's my description & review of each place:

1) Holly Hedge Estate - small bed & breakfast-type place - 15 guest rooms - nice property, nice ceremony and reception location - priced above-average
2) Normandy Farm - medium sized hotel/conference center that used to be a farm - has 113 hotel rooms & 28 guest suites - has an okay ceremony site (with a good indoor alternate) - has a pretty cocktail hour area and pretty reception hall - very reasonably priced
3) Fonthill Castle Estate - historic landmark - looks much better in pictures - prices are okay, but still are a little high given that they don't include alcohol in the package

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saturday Schedule






TimePlaceLocation
10:00Holly HedgeNew Hope, PA
12:00Normandy FarmBlue Bell, PA
2:00New Hope Vacation RentalDoylestown, PA
3:15Fonthill CastleDoylestown, PA

I talked to someone at Stroudsmoor today too, and August 20th is still available... so that is always an option if the places we see this weekend are too expensive or if we don't like what we see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A few other ceremony/reception possiblities...

Places in the area (Philadelphia suburbs) that we plan to see this weekend:
We are also still looking at the Stroudsmoor in the Poconos. We always really liked it, but hadn't really considered it because we thought we were going to plan everything on our own. Now that we're thinking about having the ceremony/reception somewhere else.. we're thinking it might be a good option because then we could find some more houses that are more reasonably priced for the week. Who knows... this is so confusing. I REALLY REALLY just want to make a decision this weekend. So if we don't like these places... Stroudsmoor it is!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here's the plan for now...

We plan to see the New Hope rental on Saturday at 2:00. It's a little pricey, but it's close to a few of the ceremony sites, and looks like it would be an awesome house to stay in for the week. As for the wedding planner, I'm not sure if that'll be necessary and/or in the budget if we have the ceremony/reception elsewhere. The owner said that having the reception at the house will actually cost more (not sure how, but he said he'd explain when we meet on Saturday) and that every bride that has stayed there has chosen to have the ceremony somewhere else after figuring out the details. When we go up there on Saturday, we're also hoping to see the Holly Hedge Estate and the Fonthill Castle Museum. The good thing about Fonthill is that you bring your own alcohol (they still provide the bar tender), so that will save a lot of money. Their fee also includes chairs, tents (if needed), linens, tableware, etc., so that eliminates the need to rent things. They also work along side a catering company, which is who actually coordinates all of the property rentals. So that would also be nice to not have to worry about searching for caterers/bartenders. It would also would eliminate the need for lots of decorations because the place is so beautiful already. Anyway, my mom is planning to call them tomorrow (they were closed today for some reason) to try to get some more information.

Thank you all for your emails/posts with advice and encouragement. And thank you Mom for helping me with all these new places! I'm so lucky to have such good friends and family to help with planning the wedding!

New Hope Vacation Rental

New Hope Vacation Rental
  • 4500 sq ft - sleeps 10+
  • 6 bedrooms / 3.5 baths
  • set on 5.5 acres
  • has heated pool
  • includes a stone house and a barn that has been redone to accommodate additional guests
This place looks big enough and nice enough to host the ceremony and/or reception. I'm completely torn between doing the house thing or going somewhere to minimize the planning and # of vendors I'll have to worry about. I'd love to rent the house and have the ceremony/reception somewhere else, but that really isn't an option. I'm so indecisive about this!!!!!!!! Any thoughts???







Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wedding Confusion...

So we were all ready to book a room at the bed & breakfast close to the house in Damascus, and were planning to visit the house this weekend- then we (75% me, 25% Scott) started to question the idea of doing everything ourselves. Do we really want to have a ceremony and reception at the house where we're staying at all week? Do we really want to plan every detail of this reception and rely on several vendors to pull through on our wedding day? Are we putting to much thought & energy into making sure our guests will have plenty to do if they come to the wedding? Do we really want to drive 4 1/2 hours every time we need to meet with florist/officiant/planner/etc.? Should we choose a beautiful ceremony site and then plan everything else around that? We never really did come up with any answers, but we did start to broaden our search and focus on finding a beautiful place to hold a ceremony. We're not sure about this weekend, but I'll post more when we figure it out. In the meantime, look at the new links & pictures below of all the new places that we found. My mom is going to help with calling some of them to see whether they're available and/or affordable. Will keep everyone posted!

Other pretty sites...

Fonthill Castle Estate

Fonthill Castle Estate



Saturday, October 31, 2009

Damascus Vacation Rental

Delaware river waterfront timberframe on a private mile of of shore on 144 acres: 3000 sq ft, 4 BR + loft BR, 2.5 baths, waterfront, balconies, 144 acres of land. To see more about the property, search property id #225243 on homeaway.com.











This place actually says that it's perfect for weddings, so we were thinking this may be a good place to hold the wedding and the reception. The challenge right now is trying to figure out if there are hotels and things to do in the area. Will keep posting as I figure things out...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Masthope Vacation Rental

Masthope Vacation Estate: 6 bedrooms (sleeps 16), 4.5 baths, 4 foot Japanese steak house griddle in kitchen, 8 person hot tub, 2 theaters, game room, large covered deck

  • To see more about the house/more pics, go to homeaway.com, then click the tab that says "find a property", then enter the property ID# in the "start a new search" box in the top right hand corner. The property ID is: 173182


  • To see a 360 degree tour of the house, click here

Here are some pics:












Lake Naomi Rental

The Steggles House at Lake Naomi: sleeps 14-15, 4 BR, 4 baths, jacuzzi
Here are some pics:







Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wedding Planners & Houses

Well, I heard back from 2 of the 3 wedding planners that I emailed. It looks like it might be easiest for us to just go out there and meet them face-to-face for a free consult one of these weekends. That way, we could set up some times to see some of the houses we like too. I am getting a little nervous about the houses though because some of them are already booked the week before the one we want... I don't want to fall in love with a house and have it be booked by the time we get out there to see it. Anyway, here are a few of the houses that we really like:

Okay, nevermind. I decided to post the houses individually because the images were being weird when I tried to put them all in one post. Look above for the houses!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wedding Planners

I've emailed several wedding planners and have heard back from a few. I was asking for price ranges on the packages they offered, and some of their responses were more vague than others. Here's the information I've gathered so far:
  • ACS Event Planning - I actually did not email this company because they had their rates listed on their website. The "wedding grand package" starts at $500, the "deluxe package" starts at $1,000, and the "luxury package" starts at $1,500.

  • Bella Wedding & Event Coordinators - I liked this email response the most. Very thorough, with actual pricing and descriptions. Here is some info I clipped from the response email:
    • The "Day of" package = $300. This consists of you doing all of the planning (you can consult with us at any time) and we provide services for the weekend of the wedding. We make sure that every vendor is doing what you contracted with them as well as setting up anything that has to be done. We also handle all of the "fires" that happen and quickly put them out. You and your family just have to get married and have fun. We do all the work.
    • The "Guided Planning" package = $450. This is where you work with us throughout the entire planning process. We can accompany you to meetings if needed, as well as helping with any vendor related issues. We also provide the same services as the "day of" package. This is great for the bride that is busy but still wants to be involved.
    • The "Complete" package = $1,200. You have final say on everything but you don't have to do as much work. This is for the bride that just does not have time to plan the wedding due to family, career, etc.
    • Customized packages are also offered to meet your needs and budget. I emailed her back today, so maybe I'll get some more information about what package would be best for me.
  • Danly's Enterprises - didn't provide any pricing info. I sent her another email today with what I'm looking for, and will most more when I hear back from her.

  • Weddings by Design - price range is $400 - 2,000.

  • Wedding Daze - didn't list specifics about pricing in the response email. I emailed her again today with a better description of what I'm looking for, so hopefully that will help and she can give me some more info.

Photographers

Some local photographers that I like:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ceremony Sites

Turns out that Mountain Springs Lake Resort won't let you have your ceremony there unless you also have the reception there. The Stroudsmoor has a similar policy, although is a little more flexible... they offer ceremony-only packages if you are getting married in January-March, or Monday-Thursday year round. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like either one of these places will be an option for us.... So, my new plan is to start contacting wedding planners out there and see if any might be able to recommend a good place that would allow a ceremony without requiring the reception be held there too. I emailed a few on Friday, but they haven't all gotten back to me yet. I was really just trying to get and idea about their services/rates, so I'll post more about this when I get some more info.

Wedding Colors


Right now we're thinking a raspberry pink/dark gray. I've had a hard time finding the exact color of pink, but these flowers are pretty close.... I also think these flowers would be pretty for decoration. As for the gray, I've searched all over and haven't been able to find a good example. Will post a picture as soon as I can find one!

Wedding Date

It looks like the wedding date is set (although not officially) to be Friday, August 20, 2010. We're looking at different places in the Poconos, but haven't narrowed down our location yet. For more about our wedding, you can visit our wedding website.

Engaged!

~October 8, 2009~