Buying our Wedding Rings

My experience looking for wedding bands was very different than Mr. Pashmina’s. I knew what I wanted. In one word: Sparkles! My question was how to get it–with it being the most comfortable & at a good price. I never knew how girly and glamorous I could feel wearing a ring until Mr. Pashmina got me my engagement ring. Now I wanted more!

My engagement ring is beautiful, but it isn’t the most comfortable ring to wear because it is a little thick. I assume one reason is because they need to fit the diamonds in the band, but if I put all my fingers together you can feel the metal ring and it feels weird. I wanted a wedding ring that when worn would feel like wearing nothing at all. But this wasn’t going to be easy, I didn’t want a plain metal band like Mr. Pash. I wanted something that sparkled like my e-ring.


I could go a few different ways. I could try to find a matching a matching band, or look for a very thin ring that would “go”, or get an eternity band.

I did want sparkles, but maybe not all over. I quickly realized how expensive eternity rings were. Was it worth it? I hated twisting my e-ring so all the diamonds were perfectly symmetrical. But was it worth the extra bucks not to turn a ring? If I wore it with my e-ring with it then I would still be turning a ring on finger? So was the purpose behind getting an eternity band purposeless? To me, right now in my life, an eternity band wasn’t that necessary. A three-sided ring would be more than enough. Since I would most likely be wearing the two together–I imagine 90% of the time–I might as well have them both requiring a twist.

After looking at the collection I knew that I wanted one that was similar to my engagement ring. When I put on rings of different styles–which in theory I love–it just seemed to busy, too much going on, not quite right. I knew for something that I was going to wear everyday it needed to be–in my mind–clean, versatile, and something I felt went with everything. So that left me with trying to find a match.

To my surprise there were lots of “matches” to my e-ring. The jeweler showed me all the sizes of wedding bands that were the exact same one as my engagement ring without the center diamond. There were larger, thicker versions and smaller, thinner ones. I gravitated to the smaller one after trying it on, putting my fingers together and not feeling much metal-hand contact. But then jeweler showed me how when placed together there is a “step” between the rings, basically it would create a mini-pyramid effect. They were perfectly aligned, one wasn’t thicker than the other. Then the jeweler showed me the “perfect pair” to the engagement ring I love so much. It really did look good…but it was more expensive. As if reading my groom spoke up and said under your breath, “you might as well get the one that matches it perfectly.”

They had a three hundred dollar price difference, of course the one I wanted, my match was the more expensive one. Then I got schooled by Mr. P, “don’t be cheap on this, not this time.  It matches perfectly, you should get what you want.” I instantaneously heard his voice of reason. The perfect match really was the ring I really wanted. Might as well splurge this time, especially since it wasn’t a huge price difference…better than buying a totally new ring down the road.

In a matter of just 20 minutes I picked out my ring. It really wasn’t very difficult at all. Finally!

Check out a picture of mine and his! Cute, no?! His choice? A titanium comfort fit 8 mm ring with a brushed and satin finish. Mine? A channel set diamond set band with alternating round and rectangular stones.

Did you opt for a the match of your engagement ring? Do you wear your wedding ring solo or do you stack them? Did you “splurge” on the band you really wanted?

*all images personal photos

 

Brooklyn Bride BAM

A few weeks ago I attended my very first bridal event. Why did I go? Why not? I didn’t have much else to do. I had been spending way too much time on the computer and was feeling the need to get out. But why else did I go? Because they advertised that they had a focus on tablescapes. I thought, “This was what I need!” I had no idea about how to decorate our tables. This could be my needed inspiration. And well, it turned out to be so!

Image from 100 Layer Cake

When I first entered the space I saw exactly what I came for: tables set up two different ways. One side was for the vintage-loving bride (me) and the other was for the modern gal (not so much me!). I was really inspired by the use of gold, pinks and aqua. The menu cards were hand drawn with glitter lettering (how’d they do that!!). And the retro pink coconut cake was just so Marie Antoinette cool.

Image from 100 Layer Cake

The only bummer was that this was the extent of the tablescapes. Darn! Just one?! It took me two hours to get there from New Jersey. In total it took me only 20 minutes inside looking at stuff, talking to vendors–but this vintage tablescape was worth it..right?

Personal photo

After cruising around on 100 Layer Cake, I noticed that they posted pictures from the event. Have a look and which do you prefer? To the left is Modern and to the right is Vintage. Below is a picture I took myself of another beautiful bouquet that inspired me. It was at a vendor’s station advertising calligraphy arranged by Bloom Floral (I think).

If you are thinking about attending a bridal event–go for it! It really does help to go see things in-person and talk to people in the business. At the bottom is the real reason to go–the perks! Lots and lots of samples. I was on such a sugar high when I left it was spectacular. Truffles, cheese, cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes, chocolate, cupcakes! Mmmm…yum! I received a number of follow up phone calls from people. But since I am not having my wedding around here it really limits what I need help with. I wish I could take up any of those cupcake vendors ;-}

Kumquat Bakery

Introducing-the-Bridesmaids Cards

It was really important to me that my bridesmaids were able to get in touch with each other.

I mean how else will they plan the bachelorette party! LOL. Just (sorta) kidding! We aren’t exactly a big group of friends that hang out all the time. Some of them know each other, others don’t know each other at all. They are a fantastic bunch that I have met all throughout my lifetime and I wanted them to feel comfortable the day of the wedding.

So how would I introduce them to each other? I asked some of them to be bridesmaids through my own “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” cards, and I had a really fun time making them. I thought it might be a really great excuse to do another paper craft.

Initially I played around with making an accordion booklet with their names, phone numbers and email addresses. It worked well but it wasn’t very exciting.

Then I remembered a card featured on Martha Stewart that was of a woman in silhouette.

Aha! I had an idea: I would make a silhouette of each lady! Like her very own cameo! Then I would put the contact info on the back and fold it in an accordion style so you would just see the beautiful silhouettes from the front. And when they would turn them over…viola…functional info!

My first step was going to A.C. Moore and getting the right paper. I had a very specific vision. It needed to be in my wedding colors. Cameo light pinky peach and a dusty deep rose! With reddish-pink and black calligraphy (just like I saw in Betsy Johnson’s journal)! This step was the easiest. The second not so much!

The second step was figuring out how large I could make the silhouettes and how I could make the folds even. The craft paper I bought was actually scrapbooking paper and in an almost square…almost! I cut an oversized piece of white paper and did a number of trials. Finally I figured out how it would open so every silhouette would be facing front, how the asymmetrical paper would be spaced evenly, and how I could make the most out of the surface area so I could make the largest silhouette possible! Phew!!

And the third step was really the most time consuming! I decided to make each lady different–with their silhouette based on their features. I thought this would be easy enough because I would just draw one out and stack the paper on top of each other. So it would be just like I had to do one for each girl.

Oh how wrong I was! The black paper I had was very bad quality. You can’t do multiple without the paper tearing. With 5 girls per card this equaled 25 individually created silhouettes. Ouch!!

The last part was the funnest but required the most attention to detail. I used rubber cement to glue the silhouettes to the paper and used calligraphy markers to write down the names and contact info of the ladies. What if I did all this then wrote down the wrong name, misspelled an email address, got a wrong? All my hard work would be out the window–I couldn’t erase it! And let me tell you…it happened. I put one name twice! But I got through it, and it was totally worth it. I love how they turned out.

So Sweet DIY Bridesmaid Cards

These are the most adorable “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” Cards. I recently completed my very own paper project (more on that later) and these served as one of my sources of inspiration. So I thought I would share them with you! They are just too fun ‘n sweet to keep to myself. By the way, Once Wed has recently been putting out a lot of posts with step-by-step instructions on how to do some wonderful things. I love personalized things. And crafts projects! Try them out or make something your own!

Image from Once Wed.

Youlin New York

Image from Youlin New York.

I love the back of this dress. I have been looking for dresses that have this type of detailing on the back. The back of a dress is very important. Especially for a wedding when so many people will be watching you from behind. The touch of color, the beautiful fabric, the leaves. It is great!

I would love to add some visual interest such as a series of flowers in my hair for a bold statement. One flower is beautiful but three makes an impact. The gown delicately mimics the placement of the flowers. Very chic, very tropical, very cool…

Image from Brides.com

Check out  more bohemian wedding dresses from Youlin New York on Brides.com.

Image from Brides.com
Image from Brides.com

My First Wedding Dress

Genevieve. Image from Project Wedding.

The Genevieve by Elizabeth Fillmore was the first wedding dress I tried on and fell in love with. The second was the blush lace colored Georgina.

Georgina. Image from Project Wedding.

There is something about Elizabeth Fillmore that is a Bohemian Bride’s dream. These dresses, for me, were swoon worthy. Drool worthy!

But, again, the price of a dress is one of the most important factors for this Boho. And my budget is not “$$$$-$$$$$.” When I see these symbols on the wedding gown directories my eyes bleed. But gals, your wedding is only once right? Well, I can live through you.

Check out Elizabeth Fillmore’s site and weep, get inspired, or simply buy the dress!

Shoe-Tastic Tuesday!

#8 Kate Spade Genny Pump

I must have these shoes! They are flirty, they are fun. They are sassy, they are sweet. It is almost a sign as Valentine’s Day has past. Maybe just because love is in the air. Well, for some reason I am itching for them. Yes, I must have these Kate Spade Love Pumps! Okay, that isn’t their official name but I have been calling them “The Love Shoes I am in love with!” Maybe a little bit bold for my soft champagne colored wedding dress, but perhaps perfect for the rehearsal dinner.

Image from Nordstroms.com

Bridesmaid Dresses & Colors Schemes

I finally decided on the bridesmaid dresses for my ladies! And thus gotten much closer to finalizing my color scheme. My wedding colors are primarily amber, blush pink, peach, and deep rose! Here is an inspiration board with the natural, earthy, orange-pink I am imagining.

Settling on these colors is mostly due to finding this J-Crew dress:

j-crew strapless chambray wild rose dress

I have been in love with J-Crew’s chiffon bridesmaid line, especially in the color Deep Rose (dusty peach) since beginning my wedding planning. But the cost of the bridesmaid dresses were a bit more than I wanted to ask my bridesmaids to spend ($165-$275). My goal was to find something between $50-$100. To find something “casually elegant” a.k.a. something that captured a destination/relaxed/fun/romantic feeling while at the same time could be fancy enough for a wedding. Something that would fall in a color between champagne to soft pink to coral orange.

So here is a picture of the fabric swatches from J-Crew.  My Sister of the Groom will be wearing a chiffon dress in Deep Rose. My three Bridesmaids will wear the Strapless Chambray Wild Rose Dress in Papaya (a new arrival for spring).

From left to right: soft shell, papaya, deep rose, rosebud.

The eldest Junior Bridesmaids will wear the Twist Tank Dress in Soft Shell. While the other two Junior Bridesmaids will be wearing dresses in the same shade but in a different style—I am not entirely sure which dress but perhaps this one that isn’t on their website yet (it is a ruffled dress with a sweetheart neckline). I am going to try to find something similar to Rosebud for my Maid of Honor who is a bit larger than J-Crew’s sizing.

I am so excited! This is a big check mark off my to-do list!

A Traditional Hometown Wedding

The Old Mission Rose Garden. Personal photo.

Did I mention that my hometown is a resort town? Where all the stars from Los Angeles come to have a retreat? Whenever I mention that I come from Santa Barbara, California the person’s response is always, “Oh, it is beautiful there!”

…And it really is. I love it there, I miss it!

I was so excited to share my beautiful hometown with my fiance’s family (many of whom never have been to California).

There are so many sites that would make a beautiful ceremony site. Top on my list were a.) Chase Palm Park (it is on the waterfront and even has a vintage carousel!), b.) Manning Park, a woodland enclave in the midst of Montecito, c.) The Old Mission A.C. Postel Rose Garden–just across the street from the historic California Mission.

Chase Palm Park. Image from lotsafunmaps.com.

And did I mention the reception venues? The Bacara Resort & Spa and The Four Season’s Biltmore. These were the top two on my list.

So being the planner that I am, I researched all my top sites. Talked to the wedding coordinators at each facility. Then I figured out the best pricing, the best ambiance, the best food. Then proposed our pick to our parents.

A mid-morning ceremony at The Old Mission Rose Garden and a late lunch reception at The Bacara. It was all decided! It was going to be beautiful!!

The contract for the Rose Garden was signed. It was a public park so the fee was (somewhat) minimal at $650 with a security deposit of $150. The checkbook came out, everything was mailed, and I received confirmation for the venue. Then after negotiating the price with The Bacara and the final contract was drafted something just didn’t seem right. Why did the venue need 90% of the total food and beverage fee over 12 months in advance. Every other site only required 5-10-25-50%. I had never seen something more than that. Was The Bacara going through hard times? Were they going to go bankrupt before our wedding? Was I being swindled? So I gave the wedding coordinator a call. And that is when I found out that our site was secured for July 31st, 2009 not 2010!

After figuring out the SNAFU, the wedding coordinator was going to call me back and let me know the price increase for the 2010 date. I guess they were going to give us a good deal for the close 2009 date. But then after I left messages, and emailed he didn’t call me back. A week or two went by. Then second thoughts went through my head.

What about Catalina Island–the place we vacationed last year and had a blast at. The place where I attended my first wedding as a child. Should I switch our traditional hometown wedding for a (semi)destination wedding on Catalina Island?