I honestly can't tell if this is for real or not. I plan on writing a post soon (when I have more time to get so in-depth) on my feelings on divorce and what marriage should really mean, but for now I just want to say that I think making divorce illegal is going too far. I don't want people to feel like divorce is an easy option, but trapping people in their marriages? It kinda changes what marriage is, don't you think? I don't know... is there a way to make people take marriage more seriously in the first place without this melodramatic call for new laws?
Armed with tons of inspiration, David and I ventured out to the mall.
First stop: Banana Republic.
After wandering around a bit, confused, I shoved a few jackets at David to try on. "Hmm, okay... 42S... what do the numbers/letters mean? Oh look that's too wide, but the sleeves are way too short. Try this one... 40R. Okay, it's a little slimmer, but the sleeves fit much better. Hmm..."
Guess what? The number - 42, 40, 38, etc - stands for the width or general size of the suit while the letter - S for short, R for regular, and L for long - stands for the length of the sleeves. We had just successfully figured out the sizing issue on our own by trial and error - proud of us?
Anyway, a Banana Republic employee soon noticed that we looked lost and offered to help us. He went to the back to find David's size many times in a few different suits, explained that Banana Republic offers three major fits ranging from a wider cut to their slim cut suit. Each suit David tried would have cost us right around our $500 budget for just the jacket and pants. He continued to help us graciously even after we told him that we would not be buying a suit from him, but that we were just looking for the right fit so we could shop online. He wins. However, it turns out that Banana Republic website is very different from what you'd find in the store - those three fits he told us about? Yeah, couldn't find them online. In fact, I have no idea which suits David tried on or if they are even offered online. Moving on.
Next: J Crew
The J Crew store at our mall does not carry men's suits. This should have kept us away, but theirs were my favorite online picks, so I wanted to see what the sales people knew or how they could help. The woman there explained that their suits would fit in the same way as a suit from any other store and that if we ordered online we could return it to their store if there were any problems. J Crew's suits were about the same price as the Banana Republic ones, but they also had some awesome vest options. We would be able to get an extra 30% plus free shipping on any sale over $150 off since J Crew is having a sale (go get it!) We were really happy with these prospects, but still felt a little wary of ordering something so important online without having seen or tried it on in person.
We walked into Nordstrom and basically walked right back out. I thought they would have a wide range of suits, people willing to help us maneuver them to find what we wanted, and something within our price range. Turns out, nobody wanted to help us (I figure they assumed we wouldn't get them their commission), and the only suits that we could afford were ugly. Nevermind.
After our experience at Nordstrom, David and I were ready to head out and peruse Banana Republic and J Crew's online options and call it a day. However, I had a nagging feeling that we should try Macy's first. David wrote it off and assumed our experience at Macy's would be the same as that at Nordstrom, but I convinced him that we should just see what they had while we were there before we ordered something online. It took a little coercion, but I'm so glad we went in. Macy's has a whole section titled the "slim shop" - exactly what we were looking for. And they had grey slim cut suits on sale. David tried on this Alfani Red suit, and we decided to jump on it.
The price? Originally,the jacket and pants would be right around the prices at the other stores, the vest would have put us over budget. But wait, in addition to the sale price, Macy's was having a weekend sale and any purchase in the men's suit department over $150 was an extra 25% off! The final price for jacket, pants, and vest? $260. That's half of our original budget!
Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera shopping with us. So, being the good little blogger that I am, I made David try the suit on again once we got home so I could document it. The photos that follow are terrible - I rushed them so David could get back into his comfy clothes - but, I love the fit.
silly boy, trying to hide the tee shirt he was wearing under the jacket.
It's much darker than some of y favorite inspiration, but I'm so happy to have another big thing checked off our list, and I think David will look great!
What do you think of our shopping trip? Pretty successful for going in knowing nothing, huh? If you went the suit route for your finace/husband, where did you find his?
I have a confession to make: I hate tuxedos. I don't know if it's the shiny satin stripe on the pants or the fact that virtually every tuxedo I've seen in person has been an ill-fitted rental for a wedding. Either way, I knew a trip down with the guys down to Men's Wearhouse for a rent your groomsmen's tuxes get the groom's free deal was not in the cards for us. I decided that if tuxes were out, then David would wear a suit. Black was out since there is no other black in our wedding and suits don't come in black as commonly anyway. We weren't too keen on the casual khaki look for David either. The solution? A grey suit.
This became concrete when I saw photos of Tec Petaja in his wedding to the lovely Chelsea of Oh My Deer.
Okay, aren't those two the most attractive and talented people ever? Anyway, I fell in love with the look of a grey suit - especially with a vest.
Unfortunately, I have yet to find suits available to rent like tuxes. We decided that David could use a nice suit anyway, so we would purchase one. Then, somewhere along the line I decided that a standard, cheap suit would not do. You see, David wears a size small in shirts - most of the cuts of suits out there would look ridiculous on his frame. Thus, my desire - no, my need - to find David a slim cut grey suit that comes with a vest and is stylish/designer-esque but is still affordable was born.
Where do we look for suits that fit this bill? Well, online of course.
This suit by Burton was the first amazingly perfect suit I found, and it was reduced to only 10 british pounds - roughly twenty bucks for an entire suit! This was, of course, too good to be true since the suit has been out of stock for over a year now. I considered ordering another one of their suits - the prices for the in-stock suits weren't all that bad and they looked great, but I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with shipping from the UK when we weren't sure about size.
The next obvious choices were J Crew and Banana Republic. After browsing their prices and options, David decided that he would set a budget of $500, and that we would go peruse the mall for size and fit sometime soon. Here were some of the suits that we found online and were excited about trying:
So, off to the mall we would go with no expertise or real knowledge whatsoever about suits or sizing suits, a pretty strict $500 budget, and high hopes. Stay tuned to hear of our experience and to see what we ended up with.
As you Southern Californians know, we are experiencing some pretty extreme storms - storms that this area hasn't seen in years. That being said, with extreme winds, flash floods, fallen trees, and more, I have to spend more time and energy getting to work and such and will not be able to post today. Everyone in the storm, please stay safe. Everyone else, have a happy day!
The other day, my mom and I journeyed up to Paper Source to gather supplies for the invitations. On the top of our list were the envelopes. Being the good little blogging bride that I am, I have learned that it is very important to get your invitations before starting anything else for the invitation. Anyway, I digress; so, we got to Paper Source and, lo and behold, they're having a sale! In fact, everything in the Stardream Antique Gold color we used for our Save The Dates is being discontinued, so it was all 50% off. Score! Except for one problem, they did not have any envelopes in the size I needed (A9). But, no fear, the lovely sales lady looked them up for me and found just enough packs of the exact item I needed - in Berkeley of all places. So, we placed an order for the envelopes to be shipped from the Berkeley store at 50% off plus minimal shipping to be sent to my front door. Easy peasy. I then proceeded to ravage the store of many supplies, pretty envelope liner paper, and an awesome map page that will serve as our seating chart.
Just a few short days later, this arrived on my front porch:
They're here! Look at the cute paper source sticker. So exciting!
I was overjoyed and ready to start crafting the invites right away... until I opened the box and found this:
Hmm... don't those look a little yellow-y to you? No? how about when they're put next to the antique gold paper I had on hand:
Yeah, they sent me Stardream gold instead of antique gold! They may look nice together in the picture, but both are shimmery gold colors - in very different golds that clash big time. I. was. devastated.
What was I going to do? Paper Source has a strict no-returns policy on sale items, and besides where would I return them? I technically ordered them from down here, but they were shipped from Berkeley. Would I have to pay shipping to return them? How could I prove that I had indeed asked for the antique gold when I admit I used the plain ole' gold to show the sales lady an example of the size I wanted. And, worst of all, these suckers are on clearance and there was already a limited amount - would Berkeley even have enough of the right color left? Did they ever really have them in the first place? Gah!
Okay, breathe Laura. This was one of those times where my mind races far too fast for its own good, and I begin to think of everything that can go wrong before I even give it a chance to go right.
So, at ten am the next day (literally - I called the minute they opened), I called the Berkeley store. The sales lady there found my order right away, immediately admitted it was their fault, and went to check for the correct color. She then said the most beautiful thing - she would expedite the shipping of the correct ones right away for no extra cost, and that she would e-mail the store down here telling them to make an exception and allow me to return the wrong ones. She then assured me they would arrive the next day (they did! They were on my step by the time I got home from the gym at 10 am!), and gave me her name and her manager's name (without my asking) just in case I had any further problems. I love that woman. No really, I work in customer service and thus have pretty high expectations for the service I receive, and I was incredibly impressed and greatly relieved. All doubts I ever had about Paper Source after the mix-up flew right out the window.
my lovelies complete with one of the wonderful papers I got to line them.
The next day, I received the correct envelopes and returned the wrong ones (and ended up spending more money than I got back on other papery goodness, but that's another story). Crisis averted, love for Paper Source re-instated and going strong.
While visiting my grandfather and his wife, I was introduced to the best store the world of rustic wedding planners, home decorators, or trinket collectors has ever seen. While explaining our wedding theme and our Bed Bath and Beyond registry, my grandpa's wife said, "Laura, have you even been to HomeGoods? I really think you'd like it." And what do you know, it was right down the street!
Enter HomeGoods, the store that virtually finished my search for items to decorate our wedding. HomeGoods is apparently the TJ Maxx of furniture and home decor, and I have only just heard of it because the only store in all of San Diego county is in Poway - about as far as you can get from me and still be in the same county. Anyway, normally discount stores (Marshall's, Ross, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, you name it) tend to freak me out / give me a migraine - I just can't handle everything thrown in together begging to be organized, but at HomeGoods, perfect items just kept jumping out at me.
Not only did they have vases and bowls in our china pattern, but they had (and begged for me to purchase) these wonderfully perfect items for our wedding:
This cake plate (which I think is the perfect amount of gaudy and vintage all at once, don't you?) brings our Cake and Pie buffet stand count to three. Cost? $14.99
My mom declared the idea of a bathroom basket in the men's bathroom to be absolutely unnecessary, so I only bought one of these cuties, but I have big plans for using this filled with helpful items in the women's bathroom. Cost? $5.99
These stands are just what I was hoping for to hold up some signs. One will hold our seating chart, and the other will hold instructions for our Postcard guestbook. Cost? $5.99 each.
I've been searching Craigslist constantly for vintage suitcases. I think this mock-suitcase is lovely. I'll actually probably use it for the postcard guestbook and save our cosmetic case for pictures and such. Cost? $16.99.
Okay, I probably won't use this for the wedding, but I just couldn't pass it up. Look at the great doily pattern. Cost? $12.99.
And finally, the belle of the ball, my favorite item of all, something I've been searching for:
A chalkboard menu stand! This will save me from another huge paper project making menus, and I get to incorporate the chalkboard trend. Cost? $39.99. Okay, this one was a little pricy, but I love it and plan on using it or selling it after the wedding.
In fact, I think most of these items are re-sellable and can help decorate many weddings to come.
Have you stumbled upon a store with everything you've been looking for all at once and quite unexpectedly? I highly recommend you check out your local HomeGoods store!
There's a lot going on, and I have a lot to post about, but I figured I'd leave you this fine holiday Monday with a wedding that's been apparently posted many places before, but that I just found from Our Labor of Love.
((See what I did there? The last shoe post was entitled "Blue Shoes"... yeah...))
Do any of you Weddingbee readers remember Mrs. Sea Breeze's PurpleShoeDrama?
Well, back then, purple wedding shoes were apparently extremely difficult to find. However, I guess someone out there in shoe-land reads Weddingbee or somehow got the memo because purple shoes are now everywhere*.
Aren't these lovely? I found them at Nordstrom Rack while searching for wedding shoes of my own. In fact, these shoes are exactly what I want for a wedding shoe - peep toe, d'orsay, ankle strap, ruffle or bow, and a relatively high heel - they're perfect. Except for one pretty big thing. I want them in burgundy.
While purple shoes are now plentiful, burgundy shoes are not. In fact, I am close to believing they are a myth - a dream of mine that can never really ever be real. Apparently the perfect burgundy peep toe pumps or d'orsays that fit me right but make me less of a shortie don't exist. Actually, nice burgundy shoes don't really seem to exist at all.
No, really. I've combed the internet, the department stores, multiple DSW's - they're nowhere to be seen.
Actually, I did find one pair of burgundy shoes. They're apparently designed by Paris Hilton, and at first site seemed pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
The color matches my bridesmaids' dresses perfectly, they have such a cute little bow, and otherwise fit my criteria to a tee. They even have a nice (not so) hidden platform to lessen the heel height and it's potential pains. However, they do not fit me. At all. Praise Zappos and all that is good for their absolutely wonderful return policy, because if I could only go by site and didn't have a chance to try these on, they would have fooled me. The weight of the platform and heel make these some crazy heavy shoes, so they slip off my heels when I walk. I can't go a size smaller, however, because they're really already too small in the toes. No bueno.
So, I struck out with the only Burgundy shoes available. What next? I guess I could dye some shoes the right color, but the dyeable shoes I have seen so far have been pretty uncomfortable, very outdated, and so not my style. My dreams of colored shoes are fading fast, and I need shoes, like, yesterday so I can start getting my dress fitted. HELP!?
* No really, just you wait, after our wedding you'll probably be seeing Burgundy shoes everywhere, too.
This couple, Marisa and John, literally planned their entire wedding in one week and surprised their guests who thought the event was their engagement party.
In fact, the event was their engagement party. Originally. After finding that Marisa was not too excited about the stressful months to come and the wedding they had planned thus far, but that she was very excited about the upcoming engagement party, Marisa's mom suggested that they just throw the wedding then. And they did.
The bride found her dream dress, convinced the shop to sell her the sample, and had it altered all within the week. They were also able to book a photographer, wedding planner, caterer, etc. They fit all the work (and stress) of seven months into seven days and then lived happily married. Don't we all wish we could get everything done that quickly?
While the idea of pulling a surprise like this off seems crazy impossible to me, the fact that they really did get everything done that they really needed in such a small amount of time really hit me. I'm starting to stress about all the things I have left to do, but if this couple could do it in a week, surely I can do it in the next few months. No matter how many projects I finish before the wedding, we will have a wedding, and it will be great. None of the little time-consuming stuff really matters so much.
This could be one of those trends that makes us stand back and say "what the heck were they thinking!?" Then again, it could be one of those that is brought back and copied for years to come. And you know what? I don't care either way. I love it, and fully intend to wear colored shoes on my wedding day.
Yes, I'm set on this plan... although, this plan doesn't seem too set on me. Stay tuned while a bemoan the lack of perfect shoes and show you a lot of wonderful shoe porn on the way.