Friday, October 30, 2009

I Am the Bad Cop

So, if you remember, I was looking for a DOC.  What to ask of prospective DOC's?

I spoke to a dozen DOC's (including Little Blue Box Weddings, J&J Elegant Affairs, Sara Gorski Events, and others) and with each conversation I started becoming more comfortable asking questions.  The following is a representation of the atmosphere I tried to create in each of these conversations:


Source 

  • When do you first meet with the couple? What do you discuss?  Answer me now!!
  • Is there any contact before that that first meeting?  And don't even think of lying, you little weasel.
  • Is there a limit to emails, phone calls, in-person meetings?  Are you gonna make this difficult? Huh?
  • Will you visit the site? What will you look for?  Oh, is that how you want to play this?
  • Have you planned weddings before where the bride was long distance? (if applicable) Look at me when I'm talking to you!
  • How long have you been coordinating weddings?  I can stay here all day, buddy.
  • Have you coordinated any weddings at my venue before?  Want to see what I have in my little surgical toolbox?
  • What, in your words, is the purpose of a DOC?  Nobody knows you're here.
  • Do you think a DOC is necessary for my wedding? (obvious answer is yes) Why?  I'll get you some coffee once as you get me some answers.
  • Have you been a DOC for a wedding of my size before?  I can only help you if you start talking.
  • What will you be doing the day of?  Oh, are you crying, you little sissy?
  • Could you tell me of some past experiences with issues that came up and how you solved them?  You want your mommy? I'm your mommy now!
I liked the idea that the DOC would be someone who was on my side and solely concerned that the wedding went smoothly and that myself and my family would be completely free to enjoy the day. I mean, can you put a price on that? For reasons I will describe in another post, I did put a price on it and decided to forge ahead without a DOC.


To DOC and DOC-less brides--how do you feel about your decision?  What were the important factors that tipped your decision either way?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Excruciating 360-Degree Whiplash with DOC's

The First 180 Degrees
I never considered hiring a day-of-coordinator (DOC) during the first year of wedding planning. After all, we were only having 60 people, all in one location, no formal ceremony, no bridal party procession, no grand entrance into reception, no first dance, no father-daughter dance...you name it, we weren't having it.

Then I read a veritable cornucopia of posts regarding the absolute necessity of having a DOC. Bride after bride after bride said that it was the best decision they had made. Oh crappy, have I misled myself? Would I regret having to make any of my family members work? Would they not enjoy themselves? Now in a tizzy, I decided to call around and see exactly what this DOC thing was about and whether it was necessary for our relatively small wedding.

 
(Jennifer Lopez from The Wedding Planner, although hopefully your planner won't steal your husband)

I went into a serious flurry of activity, calling any DOC that I could get my hands on that didn't have an astronomical cost.  Miss Cola did a lot of background work regarding DOC's in the Bay Area and graciously shared the information that she found.

After talking to the first DOC, I was convinced--I mean, absolutely 100% positively convinced that the one thing I needed was a DOC. Then I received the quote and I was convinced--I mean, absolutely 100% positively convinced  that the one thing I needed was a DOC, but a cheaper one.  

I'll let you know what I decided in another post.  What led to your decision to have or not have a DOC?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hair and Makeup Trial I: A Kind of Fail

In looking for a hair and makeup artist ("MUA"), I had to find someone close enough to Half Moon Bay so that the travel fee didn't equal the cost of a kidney (which I assume is pricey).

The first place where I had a trial was very close to our venue. After my trial, I had that kind of experience where at first you're okay with it (b/c you really want it to be okay), and then the more you think about it the more problems you realize, and then after a while you've worked yourself into a frenzy where you're on the phone with your mom shouting "No good! No good!"

Look at the bun she made. It's an okay bun, but...just a bun.

  
Courtesy of my sister

The colors she used for my makeup were nice, but she also caked on enough concealer and foundation that if I touched my face it looked like I was breaking ground to dig the Suez canal.




Courtesy of my sister

Now, this wasn't a terrible trial by any means, but it just didn't feel right, you know? Plus, when hearing about the experiences of other brides, I started to fantasize that not only would my hair/MUA do a great job, but would also be a lovely person to have around the morning of the wedding. I think the getting ready time should be happy and relaxed, and since the hair/MUA will be there for most of it, s/he will have a big part in that dynamic.

Before the trial, I had debated whether or not to even get a trial because of the money. However, after hearing from several people that a trial was one thing they wished they had done, I went for it. And it was worth it. Anything to avoid a minor meltdown the morning of is worth a lotta money. To me. I realize not everybody considers this a priority.

Lesson learned: Get a trial if you can and trust your gut instincts.

Let's hear any nightmare stories from hair/makeup trials!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fitness for the Couch Potato

I wrote last time about my descent into complete non-exercise and unfit-ness. I wanted to get back in shape, but without paying for a gym or leaving my apartment.  I had just changed jobs to a much lower salary, and didn't want want to budget for a gym membership.

Enter the world of home exercise DVDs.  I had to pick something quiet, though, as not to disturb my neighbors (dammit, when will I get a free-standing house). Yoga seemed like a great choice, especially since I had liked doing it before the big downward spiral.

So these are the DVDs that I purchased to get myself back in the game:

Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond
I don't really know what Kundalini yoga is, but this DVD is great for the beginner, someone getting back into yoga and wanting something gentle, or even for an intermediate/experienced person who wants to have a more easygoing workout once in a while. The first part of the DVD is mostly in a seated position and works on loosening up the core and back, which also helps work your muscles as well. The second part of the DVD is a bit more advanced, with the tabletop position (basically a crab pose), double leg lifts (basically stomach workouts), downward dogs and upward dogs, and some serious back/flexibility/strength exercises. The DVD is about 45-60 minutes but I skip some exercises and interminable meditations so that it's about 30 minutes.


Source ($12.99 on Amazon) 
(be ready to see very skinny girl doing yoga in what amounts to big panties)

Crunch Yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe
This is also a good beginner DVD, with two 30-minute programs.  The first is mostly standing poses, like downward facing dog, lunges, warrior two, and other exercises. It doesn't make you go through the sun salutations, but rather picks out poses from the sun salutation sequence and focuses on each one. It has some great twisting poses, but nothing too hardcore. The second is a similar difficulty level, with a simple flowing sequence that's good for beginners.


Source ($7.99 on Amazon)

Power Yoga with Rodney Yee
 
One of my favorites. This is advanced beginner/intermediate. You go through the sun salutations at a reasonable pace (and includes poses such as triangle, warrior 1, 2 and 3, half moon pose, and others) and then move on to back exercises, core exercises, twisting and stretching. Good stuff. About 1 hour (sometimes I just do the sun salutations and call it a day).


Source ($8.99 on Amazon)
(yup, practically nekkid)

Yoga Shakti with Shiva Rea
 
This is definitely more intense. Some of the exercises are intermediate/advanced intermediate, others just rocket to advanced (like, "Sit cross-legged.  Now put the tips of your index fingers on the floor in front of you and elevate your entire body."). There are a ton of short sequences on this DVD, and you can either do them all in a row or pick and choose. I have only explored half of them, as many are way too advanced for me. Nevertheless, there are enough doable exercises that it's worth it. Since the sequences are short, I can do anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour.



Source ($24.99 on Amazon)
My main mantra in getting back into the swing of things was to take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself. I told myself that if I could do just 30 minutes, 3 times a week, I would be satisfied because that's a lot more than what I was doing. Have I followed this? Not exactly. But I'm not going to beat myself up about it either.

Do you have any recommendations for good home workout DVDs?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Was a Bunny

Not a Playboy Bunny a la Gloria Steinum, but rather, a hardcore gym bummy (more like a jackrabbit).


Source (cute, soft, flabby bunny)


Source (giant, muscular bunny who will crush you)

Like most brides, I've thought about fitness routines in preparation for the wedding.


First, some background.  I went to college in California, and in California if you don't exercise they kick you out. (And btw, I wrote this line WAY before I saw Twilight--how dare Bella steal my line)


After college, my workout schedule ramped up. I was going five or six times a week--yeah, totally CRAZY.  So there I was, huffing and puffing, doing spin class, kickboxing, aerobics, yoga, treadmill, weights...


Source 
(note: the view in my class was of a mirror reflecting my red-faced sweaty face at me)

And then I met Kevin. And SO stereotypically I stopped working out. I wanted to spend my free time with him, not at a gym. We tried going a couple of times together, but our work schedules became more disparate, we got a dog, and I used those as excuses not to go.



Source (I think I began to look like this)

Whereas I used to be a ball of muscle, I became undertoned and felt like my lungs were going to waste. 


I needed to remove the can of beer (or box of chocolates in my case) from my tummy, get off the couch, and put on some clothes.  Oh, and stop wearing mens' briefs.  So how was I going to do this? 

What kind of roller coasters, if any, have you had with your fitness regime?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Does "The One" Exist?

In order to rival the ridiculous number of my posts re: paper, I am posting yet again about wedding dresses, so that you all know just how truly obsessed I am.

Gather round, kids, so I can tell you about my big revelation during dress shopping. 

Is there "the one"?  You know, "the one" dress that captivates your heart, the one that you must have, the one you feel like you wore everyday in a past life and you were just meant to be together?  I certainly thought there would be.  

Would I just "know"?


Source (Kate looks like she knew, at least about the dress)

What is "just know"ing? That's what some people say about finding your life mate. That you'll just know. It is a very romantic idea and it may be true for some, but I dunno, I'm a little skeptical. I can't tell you how many times that I or my friends have come away from a first date thinking, "Oh could [she/he] be the one?"  Yes, mebbe we're just crazy (we were all around 30, looking for Mr. Life Partner).





I was talking about dresses, wasn't I? (I just had to post that cartoon, it is hi-LAR-rious.) by the third store or so, I had tried on far too many dresses to be able to think of one dress as my true, destined dress. There are thousands and thousands of dresses out there, new and used, at all different price points and new ones being issued from the runways every day.



(do you really want to try on this many dresses??)

So while I didn't have a moment where I broke down weeping when I found my dress, I  had done enough research and shopping to feel confident in my choice.  Maybe not such a magical, definable moment, but still magical that I'm going to wear a gown that makes me feel lovely, right?


How do you feel about "the one", dress or otherwise?  Did you "just know" about your dress or partner?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Two that Got Away

There are two dresses that I think about from time to time during my moments of dress-doubt.  One of the hard things for me about shopping for dresses was eliminating all those that for whatever reason, weren't as good as the top choice.  I know that sounds silly and obvious, but different dresses convey different feelings/moods/qualities and you'd like to be able to take advantage of all of those.

Here were my runner-ups.  Please meet Anya and Arnaude.

I fell in love with the simple elegance of Anya. Anya hails from Amsale, and was so simply chic, elegant, and Jackie O.  This is probably the one time I'm going to say this, but it looked better on me than it does on this model (probably b/c she is too emaciated to fill it out, even a little).




Alas, I felt that maybe she was *too* sophisticated for me, that the high neckline swallowed me up and imposed on me an older identity than I wanted. 


Finally, there was Arnaude. Oh, Arnaude.  I found Arnaude in a bridal salon called Hitched in Washington DC, a friendly little place in Georgetown.  I just about lost it over this dress:



My heart actually squeezes a little when I look at this dress.  I even made an appointment to meet the Ulla-Maija designer at an upcoming trunk show so that I could get a better idea of how the draping would look on me.

However, in the end, not meant to be.  The cost of both these dresses was definitely a barrier, and I also felt like maybe the high necklines, albeit bee-yoo-tee-ful, were perhaps not as alluring?  I dunno. I still think these dresses are gorgeous, but that's the way the cookies crumble.

Any dresses you still dream about?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blitzkrieg Bridal Dress Shopping


When I said I loved to shop for wedding dresses, I meant it. I went to a total of 10 places in NYC, San Francisco, and the Washington DC area.  I also spent hours online looking at preownedweddingdresses.com, hoping to find one of the dream dresses I had tried on for a discounted price. 

On all these trips, my mom was with me. I feel incredibly lucky that we shared the dress shopping experience.  After my sister's wedding 11 years ago, I think my mom was a little burnt out from the wedding planning process (yes, the trauma still lives on after a decade).  But looking for wedding dresses was something that she was still excited about, and that we could do together. 

Originally, I wanted something "understated," "simple," and like an "evening gown". However, one of the Vera Wang dresses my sister practically threw over my head (I was putting up a fight) totally captivated me:


Courtesy of my sister

I'm blinking. The dress is amazing, isn't it? Look at what it does for my figure! I'm actually boy-shaped and straight up and down with not much of a hip-waist differential, but this dress made me look vavoom! The rouched bodice, asymmetrical waistline, and halter strap made me feel sooo pweetty. 


However, I took issue with the poofiness of the skirt. It just felt like too much for the style of our wedding (despite my sister's protests of "who cares??").

I also found the dress below, at
Amy Kuschel.  I can't say enough good things about Amy Kuschel--super friendly consultant, a low-key but spacious, airy and bright loft space, and they make the dress to your exact measurements. May I present the Dietrich:



Our final stop was at Hannelore's, in Alexandria, Virginia. Coincidentally, it is the same salon where my sister bought her dress 11 years ago. I tried on a dress that had a rouched bodice, asymmetrical waistline, and could have a halter strap added. Ooh! Kind of sounds like the Vera, eh? Except that this dress was a Marisa, and the skirt was a gentle fit and flare and not a poof.

And guess what? I didn't take a freakin picture! And for a long time, I couldn't find it anywhere, I mean anywhere, online. I didn't have a style number, and the name the salon wrote down doesn't pop up on google searches (a name which I am not going to share because I don't want you to be unpleasantly surprised, like I was, when porn sites with the names of Marisa and the purported dress name kept popping up).

In the last few weeks, though, my dress has been popping up on "for sale" listings.  So here's a picture from preownedweddingdresses.com.


Source
You know what pushed me over the edge in buying this dress? My mom saying, "Oh just get it, I'm tired of looking for dresses." I would be, too, Mom--thanks for coming along for the long ride.

What finally made you choose the dress you ended up with?  Did you have a magic moment or just a grumpy mother?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Klingon Dresses

During my much-anticipated wedding dress search, I found myself drawn to a certain style that I had not previously considered.  This said style was elegant, sophisticated, and just altogether dreamy.  A lot of you liked it, and so did I.



So why am I not wearing one of them? Well, they were made of a charmeuse material (or double-faced silk or something) that clung to the body.  That means every lump, bump, paunch, wrinkle and pimple showed up.

One of these dresses was Ginger by Kenneth Pool.




I also tried on this dress by Elizabeth Fillmore, called Rose. Isn't that bodice just so sweet?




I initially thought--hey, nothing a little Spanx wouldn't fix!  But nope, no dice.  You could clearly see the outline of the Spanx girdle underneath the dress.  It was almost funny. But not.

I'm not stupid--I know I'm a small person.  But I'm also not stupid enough to deny that I have some body dysmorphia, as many women do (try and figure out that double negative).  As much as I would have really loved to wear one of these dresses, I felt uncomfortable in them and self-conscious.  I tried to tell myself that wearing a dress l ike this would be good for me, that it would encourage/force me to feel better about my body because I would look SO HOT (or so I would like to have thought).  But in the end, I didn't know whether buying a dress would really change a pattern of thought and self-perception that's been built over too many years. And that's the rub. And lub, and wrinkle, and bub.

Anyone feel drawn to a style of dress that didn't end up working for you? 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dressing the Big One

Last time I wrote about dressing the little ones, and now it's about me! ME!

Let me start off by saying that I have dreamt all my life about wedding dress shopping. Once, while still in college and very far from being married, my mom and I dropped by a David's Bridal and I tried on a dress. I'm sure the staff looked at my mom and wondered whether she was trafficking a 13-year old child bride (I look young).

Wedding dress shopping was one of the main reasons I was looking forward to getting engaged. Yeah, I know, so materialistic compared to the whole-marry-my-best-friend thing, but so what? I wanted the private room, the bridal consultant, my loved ones waiting for me to emerge, oh the rapture! I couldn't wait to maybe find "the one" that made me inexplicably break out into tears and hug my mom.

The first place I visited was
Designer Loft in NYC. I met with Laura, a bridal consultant, who was very sweet and picked out some great dresses for me (pics from Designer Loft taken by my dad).

This was the kind of dress that I had originally envisioned, and I really liked it. This is by Janet Nelson Kumar.




I hadn't considered the kind of dress shown below because it seemed too slinky, but I rather liked it (my parents were huge fans).




Clearly my signature pose is hugging my lower belly, because it's shy or something.

This was an eco-friendly dress by Adele Wechsler. I actually couldn't stop grinning when I wore this. However, I felt it wasn't flowy enough for me.




Did you look forward to the dress shopping experience?  Did you find yourself liking styles that you had not previously considered
?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dressing the Little Ones

Some of you may scoff in disdain at this post. Don't comment. Really. Because I will flood you with nasty private messages, find out where you live and...oh wait, too far?

Amongst our family members, we have four pugs. I'm sure most of you pet owners out there will understand when I say that these pugs are family to us.  Before I got my pug I kind of laughed at how obsessed people were with their pets--I have now happily and shamelessly joined their ranks.  For a while I made her food from scratch, we bring her on trips, and we have multiple coats, rain coats, winter booties, and a Halloween costume for her (not that you need these things to be a true pet lover, I am just lame that way).  Here the victims of our adoration.


Courtesy of my sister

While they won't be walking down an aisle, because that would pretty much turn into a furious hunt for treats, we wanted them to have a little pizazz for pre-ceremony photos.

I looked on Etsy and found these flowered dog collars made by
Pecan Pie Puppies. They are about $20-24.







How cute are they? Plus the pugs could wear them afterwards. So it wasn't *really* a wedding expense (i.e. not going on the expenditure spreadsheet!).

I love hydrangea so I'm eyeing this one for my little puglet.


Source

Anyone else gussying up their pet for the wedding? Don't be shy--can't be as embarrassing as what I just revealed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Big Rock For Me

No, not on my finger, but on my earrings.

I am kind of a bwaaak! bwaaak! (supposed to be a chicken squawking) about buying things over the internet, particularly if I know I can see and touch them in a store.  So before I could take the plunge and buy one of the pair of earrings that I found on the internet, I decided to visit some stores in the Fashion District (mainly Seventh Ave between 37th and 38th Streets) to see some earrings in person. 

There were many good, affordable options but I didn't find anything that really grabbed me. So after searching high and low on the internet, and several storefronts, of all places I headed to Macy's, which is typically a place to be avoided at all costs, at least in NYC (like a poultry factory farm--too close quarters).

Lo and behold, I found my earrings for $50.

  
Courtesy of me

Yeah, yeah, so again, my photography skills sucka.  The cellphone in there for scale, although it occurred to me that you have no idea how big the cellphone is.  So here's another pic with me wearing the earrings, looking very fierce if I say so myself:

 

Please, please, refrain from all the posts commenting on how attractive I look in this picture.

What kind of jewelry, if any, will you be wearing for your wedding (besides your ring/s)?

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Little Bling

My mom originally suggested that I wear a tiara for the wedding. I responded that she was nuts. Other people can pull it off really well, but I'm not a tiara type of girl.  I'm also not a bracelet type of gal, and I did not want a necklace because my dress will have a halter strap and I wanted to keep my decolletage uncluttered.

Ok, i'll fess up. i don't really have a distinctive decolletage so speak of.  But don't people want to see my collarbone?  I wouldn't want to deny anybody this privilege. 

So for wedding bling, I just focused on earrings. Oh Regina B., you wring my heart into a lifeless little tissue.




Sigh--these Regina B's were about $180 to $190.  That's 2 unlimited monthly MetroCards, people!!

Where to go for something affordable? Mrs. Champagne mentioned that Emitations was a good site. There is so much cool stuff on there, and most for under $100 (i.e. can still be pricey, but nice to know that I don't have to spend $150 plus). I eyed these little baubles:
 
Source ($79)



Source ($68)

Sparkles Forever is another costume jewelry site where I found several options.
 

Source ($69)


Source ($36) (Selma insisted on saying hello)

Amy's Bridal Accessories also had some lovely options:


Source ($58)

All these great options. I was strongly leaning towards Amy's Bridal.  But before I let you know what I decided, does anyone have recommendations for other good costume jewelry sites?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Internet Dating during Wedding Planning

After finding the venue, choosing a photographer was the biggest item on the to-do list.  Finding a photographer was akin to finding a date on an internet site. And trust me, I have had experience with internet dating sites.  I tried nerve, match, you name it.

I meticulously combed Here Comes the Guide (vendor guide for California weddings), the Wedding Photographer Photojournalist Association, and the Weddingbee boards for any ideas about photographers in Northern California. It felt like perusing hundreds of potential dates' profiles.  I came along 39 East Photography.  It caught my interest.






I looked at their website and their blog (like any good obsessive internet dater). With a deep breath, I finally sent an email (much like a "wink" or "hello"--you know, if you haven't internet-dated this whole analogy will be lost on you).

CK, the photographer, and I exchanged a few introductory messages. I told him a little about myself. He told me a little about 39 East. The company is based in Singapore and is breaking into the US wedding market, and CK was willing to work with our budget.

After a few rounds of emails, we set up a time to talk on the phone. This was the first extended conversation I had with any vendor (besides for venues) and I was super nervous. However, CK was really sweet and nice. He was unassuming, articulate and friendly.

I was like, wow, that was great! Like love at first talk! I had such this great feeling about it that when I talked to my sister about the phone call, I was practically giddy. It was instant vendor chemistry, I couldn't resist!


However, after talking to and meeting a few more photographers, I began to waver. While CK offered the best price and I loved his photos, he was, after all, the first photographer to whom I had spoken. He was the one photographer that I did not get to meet in person. 

I mean, wasn't that other photographer I eventually met really super sweet? Didn't I think she was really pretty?  And how about the one with a nice studio? My mom and sister really liked him! Doesn't family opinion matter a lot?

Oh I was so confused! Who to choose, who to choose? Could I trust my heart? Was I being flighty? Overly romantic? Argh!



Source (this is what worrying does to me) 

To help resolve my concerns, I demanded that CK and I speak again. He obliged--but did he seem less eager this time? Was he wary? Did he sense that I had ventured elsewhere? Egads, the pressure.

On our second phone call, CK was the same CK--professional, articulate and easygoing. His photos are lovely. Really lovely. I trusted myself and signed a contract. A few months later, he and his wife came to NYC and we had dinner. I'm happy to report that he was who I thought he was, and all was well. CK, I never should have doubted what we had (I only publish this because CK has a sense of humor and will laugh instead of calling the police).

Anyone else need to "sow your wild oats" before settling on a vendor that you found early on?  On another note, how about experiences "breaking up" with a vendor that you didn't choose?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can't Hurt to Ask. Or Sometimes It Does

I'm not the best at haggling/negotiating to get a lower price.  I get a little nervous--I don't want to seem too pushy or presumptuous.

 
Source 

However, I found a subtle way of getting a lower price.  I used to always appreciate when vendors posted their prices on their website since I didn't have to get off my ass and call or email (which, granted, I could still do sitting on my ass but I would have to exert more movement in my fingers and arms). In general I still appreciate website prices, but I found a benefit to unlisted prices during my search for a photographer.


I contacted a photographer who had not listed her prices.  She sent me her price list, which was too expensive for my budget. When she didn't hear from me, she sent me a follow-up email. I told her honestly that I couldn't afford her but that her work was beautiful. She quickly wrote me back to say that she wanted to recommend one of her assistant photographers, for a lower price. Score!

This happened a few more times with other photographers offering an assistant or a discounted package. It didn't hurt that my wedding was small and that it was in March, not a busy month for weddings.

Of course, there was this one photographer who had been on my mind since almost the beginning of my wedding planning. I loved her website. I loved her photos. Heck, I loved the music that she played on her website.  As expected, her prices were sky high. When I told her that unfortunately I couldn't afford her but perhaps she could recommend someone she knew more in my price range, she wrote back something to the effect of:

"You won't find a photographer for that price, not in this area. I suggest that instead of having photos taken at your wedding, that you arrange a photo shoot sometime after."

Which in my head, sounded a lot like:

"You suck, and only rich people can have pictures taken at their wedding. Good luck, lameass! Bwahahaha!" 
 
See, so it *usually* doesn't hurt to be honest, to thank them for the time, and to leave a hint or question that your budget is smaller than they charge.  Anyone else have some polite techniques/questions one can use to see if there is a less expensive option?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shoe Dummy Gains an Unprecedented 2 IQ Points

Last time I posted about my search for shoes and my purchase of 3.5" heels despite the fact that I swore off heels a few years ago.  So you're thinking, you dumbass. But wait! I *did* learn a little something through my shoe trials and tribulations. I know it is almost a given that my Tahari slingbacks will hurt me after a few hours into the wedding. So I began a search for comfortable flip-flops that I could change into.

I wanted white flip flops (keep it simple) and a tall heel (at least 3") so my dress hem wouldn't drag on the ground.  This search was a bit obstructed by inflated "wedding prices" (not many people besides brides want white flip flops with a heel above 1") and a shape that did not do much for the comfort aspect.  

For example, these following flips are cute, but the shape of the arch is still curved at an angle that I might as well be wearing regular heels.  In addition, they cost $30 or more, whereas I was really hoping to find something around $20



Eventually, I found these from mydivascloset for $17:

 

These have an elevated platform for the whole foot (only a slight arch), and are under $20. 

Smart, eh? Well, it doesn't stop there It might rain the day of our wedding (our locale is known for that during March), so I also got these:






Source ($26.50 Puddleton rain boots from Discount Safety Gear)

Yeah, not so dumb right? Or, maybe you say--I could have just foregone the heels altogether and gotten the flip flops, and your shoe expenses would be half of what it is.  You have a point, but I am too busy hobbling away in my hot pink patent leather peep toes. 

Do you have back-up shoes for comfort or weather purposes?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sole Around My Brain is Quite Thick

I am a few standard deviations below the national IQ when it comes to shoes. I committed sins like wearing gym socks with any shoe, not just sneakers (and fugly shoes at that), which led me to the totally self-created and false belief that my feet were a good whole size above my actual shoe size. People, this lasted into my twenties. This is embarrassing.

I am also a wuss about wearing heels. My knees hurt even thinking about it.  Oh of course, once in a while I would stray and buy a pair of cute heels, usually for work, only to end up hating myself as I slowly pried the shoe from my bloody foot at the end of a day.

Source (I know, a little gross, but I think it's funny--it's fake! Don't panic!)
 
So after all these lessons learned and the bitterness with which I regard my past cobbler foibles, what do you think I decided to do for my wedding? Yep, you guessed it! I'm wearing HEELS! Not just any heels, but 3.5" heels! 

I searched high and low (I mean, as high and low as one can go without leaving the comfortable butt imprint on her chair in front of the computer) for shoes under $100. I did not want satin shoes, since all I will almost certainly snag and stain them. I preferred peep toes to relieve a bit of the pressure caused by walking in heels. And I wanted color, like many other brides.

Something like this would have been lovely (Christian Louboutin slingbacks):


Note: I once went apesh%t at a Bergdorf Goodman designer shoe mega "sale" ("sale" meant 65% marked down from $1000) and giggled maniacally while trying on dozens of shoes.  However, these CL's broke two of my rules.  Not only were they satin, but practically bazooka-ed my $100 rule.

These Chinese Laundry shoes were a much more affordable option, for $19.95 from 6pm.com:

At some point in life, my sister had a bloody and blistery battle with a tenacious set of Chinese Laundry shoes and forbade me from buying these (how you like that alliteration, btw?).

This Cynthia Rowley pair was nice, and only a smidgen above my budget at $112 at 6pm.com:


However, still over budget.  Eventually, I found these Tahari slingbacks at DSW ($75; no longer available):

Yipee! I have been occasionally wearing the shoes around the apartment to break them in and train myself to walk in heels in a manner that doesn't look like my kneecaps are falling off.

Did you break out of your usual habits in buying shoes for your wedding?