Even though I live in New York City, home to Kleinfeld's and other pillars of the wedding dress industry, I decided not to go wedding dress shopping there. I wanted to visit my parents in Ohio and I thought that we might have better luck finding a good deal on something fabulous in the Midwest. To prepare for shopping I compiled a list of adjectives I knew I wanted my dress to exemplify: elegant, simple, classic, natural, with an interesting focal point. As far as silhouette goes I was pretty open, because I had no clue what different styles would look like on my figure. So, I planned a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan with my Mom to check out a couple stores.
First, I got an appointment at The Brides Project, they sell gently used wedding dresses at discounted prices. All of the people who work in the store are volunteers, and all of the proceeds go towards the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. I love the idea of recycling a dress that was worn once and donating to a good cause as well, so this was an ideal opportunity. The store was stocked from wall to wall with wedding dresses and my Mom and I with the help of two kind volunteers got to flip through the racks of dresses. I had never tried on a wedding dress in my life and this was a wonderful introduction into the fantasies and foibles of the bridal world. I must have tried on 10 dresses each one of them teaching me a little bit about what I like and don't like on my figure. We didn't end up finding anything quite right at this store, but I will certainly consider donating my dress to them after our wedding and I would absolutely recommend that people check this place out. The prices and the mission can't be beat!
The second store where we had an appointment was The Gown Shop in downtown Ann Arbor. Ariel and I actually went to high school with the owner, Stacy Fork, a fun little connection! The shop was very private, contemporary and chic. It was quite a different experience at The Gown Shop we did not do any hands on browsing, in fact the dresses were hanging guarded in a separate room tantalizing us from afar. We sat down in an elegant private dressing room with our dress expert and she asked me a series of questions about what I was looking for in a dress. This boutique features dresses from the trendiest designers, with one of a kind looks that are expertly constructed and made from very lux fabrics. Our incredibly knowledgeable consultant grabbed us four dresses that she felt best met all of my criteria. In the end, much to our surprise, we ended up buying a dress! The dress was made by Magdalena Gmyr a Toronto based designer known for her figure flattering, architectural designs. The Gown Shop is the only store in the United States that carries her gowns and the dress we found is a retired design, so those two facts make if feel like an extra special find. But just wait I haven't told you the best part...The dress was a SAMPLE, so we got a great deal too! HOORAY!!!
It was not a challenge for me to figure out who I wanted to ask to be my bridesmaids, the more pressing question for me was how? I scoured the internet for ideas but nothing I found stood out to me as perfectly suitable for me or my friends. But, in another wedding related search, while looking for what people have used as substitutes for throwing rice, you know so the birds don't explode (old wive's tale?), I found a design for homemade confetti poppers. The poppers are made out of plastic push-pop containers that you can find at most craft stores in the baking section. I thought about buying confetti to put inside of them, but it just seemed so wasteful and messy to me so I opted for making my own confetti. To make my own confetti, I tore colorful pages out of magazines and three whole punched my way through the pages until they looked like a herd of caterpillars had gotten to them. For some added fun I bought some shiny white and gold pom-poms to stuff inside for a more textured explosion. I covered the push-pop in gold and white polka-dotted paper, and tried to keep the design simple, graphic and self explanatory, "POP."
One of my bridesmaids is spending her summer in the outdoors and so I wanted to cater her popper to her lifestyle. So I filled it not only with bio-degradable confetti but also with seeds! Hopefully some of them will take root and sprout!
Under the confetti I hid this message at the base of the stick to be revealed once the poppers have burst open. So it should be right in their sightline once the confetti has settled. I have put these babies in the mail, now all I can do is wait. I hope they say yes!!!
Ariel made this cute map of all of the places that Pedar and I have lived, mostly together sometimes apart. I love the little icons, especially the crab! I think it would make an adorable save the date!
Let me begin this post by saying, I was absolutely oblivious to the fact that Pedar was about to propose to me. We have been talking about getting married for a long time but I had no clue that he had taken steps in reality to make this happen! Although, I did spot him having a serious conversation with my Dad at the grill a few weeks back, but when nothing happened I figured I had just imagined the whole thing.
So, Pedar was visiting me for a couple weeks in New York City between acting contracts (so proud of him, it is such a challenge to be a working actor). We had been planning a picnic for days, but it kept getting put off for rain or trivia nights, you know, important stuff. But everything finally lined up and Pedar picked me up from work with a backpack stocked with picnic goods and we went to Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park where we found a semi-shady spot with a great view of Columbus Circle.
This is us right before the pivotal moment. That is the face of a man with a secret plan!
We ate an amazing smorgasbord and then snuggled on our picnic blanket. I saw him awkwardly feel around for something in his backpack behind him. Suspicious, I leaned in for a kiss and felt around in the grass behind his back. Guess I’m kind of a snoop. I felt something! He quickly grabbed the object and brought it out in front of me. It was a little box that he had made when he was 5 years old (kudos, Mrs. Bate for having the foresight to save this)!
He sat crosslegged with this box in his hands, feigning ignorance I said “What is that?” to which Pedar responded “You know what it is.”
He untied the piece of string and I opened the lid of the box
Inside was a beautiful vintage diamond ring!
Pedar said, “Will you marry me?”
To which I responded, “Of course!!! Yesss!!!”
He put the ring on my finger.
The ring belonged to his Grandma and it shimmers like it is brand new. I couldn’t have handpicked a more beautiful ring and it fits my finger perfectly without us having to get it sized or anything! Ariel made us this cute picnic blanket for Christmas!
We were absolutely cracking up with joy, laughing and crying all at once so swept up in all of the feelings. So many feelings. We seriously couldn’t stop giggling and trying out calling each other fiancé and Beyoncé.
We went and celebrated at Tavern on the Green. I had no idea it had reopened!
It was like another little magical nugget for the evening!
They have this amazing outdoor space with strings of mini-chandelier lights.
Feeling extra fancy, Pedar bought us a bottle of champagne. There is this goofiness about our relationship that has inspired in both of us a freedom to embrace our cornball romantic sides. We danced under the lights to a song by Steve Tyrell (one of my parent’s favorite singers) and to me everything was a blur except for us. I was and continue to be elated!
This was the BEST day of my life so far!
I am so thrilled that I get to marry this wonderful special human who has been a constant source of love and laughter in my life! I am so looking forward to our wedding day, and even more so I am looking forward to being married to him. ~ Mer
PS: Look at what I came home to see on my chalkboard calendar! <3
Exciting news!!! About a month ago my boyfriend of 5 years proposed to me! We are getting married! After about a day of living in an elated fog, I eagerly started thinking about all of the fun planning that I have ahead of me. This is brand new territory for me and I have never put a ton of thought into the logistics of what it means to get married.
As a blissfully ignorant every-woman thrust into a world of weddings I think I am a prime candidate for observation as we track my journey of sorting things out through trial and (hopefully not too much) error. One of the first things I did was I took to Pinterest and began by making a "Wedding Wear" and "Wedding Decor" board. I also joined the Knot.com and registered my fiance Pedar (pronounced like cedar) and I as a couple. Then I bought a slew of wedding magazines and rifled through them for advice and inspiration. Call me crazy, but I never knew there were so many things to think about! From finding the ideal venue, creating a guest list, sorting out our wedding party, to table arrangement, flowers, chairs, music and the dress! And that is an over simplification.
Right now, I am in brainstorming phase. No is not a word in my vocabulary, not just yet. While marathoning episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" on Netflix, I began to cut out images from magazines and create a vision board. It's still a work in progress, but I find it somehow comforting to have a tactile representation of some of my goals with our wedding right on my wall. A major goal for me with the wedding is to fill it with personal DIY touches that feel elegant and chic. I am interested in finding ways to keep the budget down wherever possible and to make decisions with environmental sustainability in mind. I would like to pay homage to tradition where it makes sense for Pedar and me, but not feel stuck to archaic rules that have no meaning for us. Stick with me as I figure all of this out over the next year! This is going to be a marvelous journey!