Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Official...

After lots of deciding and re-deciding...

Choosing and then chaning minds...
and a whole lot of general confusion...

Ben and I have finally decided we're going to Rexburg.

Which, if you recall, was our original plan. However, once we got married, we started throwing out a bunch of other options to consider. Like what about Boise State University? That sounded pretty good.

Or BYU-Provo. Closer to my family and friends (always appealing). With the option of me going for a masters.

Or SUU, my old, beloved alma mater complete with awesome professors, familiar faces, and possible job opportunities.

To be completely honest, BYU-I remained on the possibility list, but was always the most unattractive option.

If I can be frank, Ben calls it "Sexburg," a more direct form of the common "BYU-I Do." Referring to the fact that most there are hungry for all things marriage, relationships and dating.

Plus it has a distinct reputation as being completely and utterly freezing in the winter.

Anyhow, our confusion led us to so many possibilities. And for months (I'm not kidding people! Months!) we have vascillated (big word, eh? eh?) from option to option.

Finally, at the end of October, we heard back from BYU-Provo. And they didn't want Ben. And even though my family took it pretty hard knowing we wouldn't be moving close to them, we were absolutely relieved to know that Provo wasn't even an option. It narrowed things down for us.

After a few more days of contemplation, I realized that BYU-I seemed and felt right. When I told Ben this, I didn't expect him to agree with the idea. He had been a die hard SUU fan from the beginning (before he even met me). But when I brought it up, he said that he had felt the same way.

So he accepted his track (Winter/Spring), I told my job that I had to peace out earlier than planned, and Ben and I are currently making plans to move to Rexburg at the end of December.

We have yet to find a place to live...but we're pretty freaking stoked.

 Even if the ever present, hand holding zoobies induce vomit on a daily basis.  ;)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More on the Dress

I thought about more stuff to say about wedding dress you guys are going to have to endure through another post...Lo siento...but not really. Cause this, afterall, is my blog...So here's my list of random advice.

You first need to decide if you actually want to buy a dress. Warning: they can be pretty expensive. But I feel like that's something you already know...I know a handful of people who were completely happy renting a dress or borrowing.

Now (probably having something to do with my dad...), I'm a pretty substantial penny pincher, so buying was a scary option for me, especially because I wanted to pay for this by myself. And I didn't want to regret having spent money on it.

But I'm pretty nostalgic. And I married Ben. And he lives under the motto, "If you're going to spend money on something, you might as well get something you really really want." So I decided to buy it, and I haven't ever regretted that decision (the whole 6 months I've had the dress ;).

Something I didn't realize, though, was that buying a wedding dress includes accessories (shoes, jewelry, veil, etc.) AND your alterations. And you've got to be careful with alterations--I heard that some places have a base rate they charge for any alterations. So even if all you need is a bustle, you'll end up apying $100, just because that's how they roll. Laaaame!

I budgeted $500 for my dress. You guys already know that I found The One with just the 2nd dress I tried on. However, it was just above my budget at $550. But when I went on my crazy shopping ravages in Provo area, I tried on this one.
And I really liked it. And it was only $400...My true stinginess came out and I started debating between The One and The One That Could Be The One If I Really Wanted.

I'm uber traditional when it comes to weddings, so I refused to let Ben see anything I tried on. But I told him my predicament and he told me to go for the one I LOVED. And I'm super glad that I spent that extra $50. It was worth it.

I got lucky with my alterations lady and only had to pay $40 for a french bustle and for her to hem all EIGHT layers of my dress. Plus I borrowed a veil that matched perfectly. (Side note: you get so blessed when you get married. Yeah, Satan tries to get you down, but Heavenly Father totally has your back).

Random Advice: Look online at the places you're going to shop at before you actually go into the store. One site I looked at said they were offering $100 off any dress bought in the month of March. I went to that store at the very end of the month and I didn't notice any signs announcing the promotion. So I mentioned it to the guy and he said that I was the only one who had brought it up. I didn't buy from them, so nobody took advantage of the awesome deal!

Final Piece: Remember that your wedding has got a feel/tone/theme...whatever you want to call it...and your dress should match. I tried on this dress...
And loved it (almost as much as The One). I tried it on twice, that's how much I loved it. But when I got to thinking about it, I realized that my wedding was a backyard, garden wedding. And I feel like a dress like this calls for a classier affair and definitely something indoors. So I opted against it.

Anyhow, dress shopping was definitely one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. And my dress was one of my favorite parts of my wedding. So take time and enjoy it! Cause it is super wonderful stuff :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Big Fat Wedding Planning Advice: The Dress

I tried like 5 times to write a post about keeping a budget but I kept coming off as a I gave up on that for the time being and have resolved to write about the thing that I'm most excited for: wedding dresses!

Shopping for a wedding dress was definitely one of my favorite (if not my very favorite) parts of wedding planning.

Ben proposed to me while we were living in Cedar City. My plan was to head home (to Springville) for dress shopping so that I could include my mom and Heather. But let's be real: I was an engaged chick with the opportunity to try on wedding dresses with full purpose and legitimacy. I needed to take advantage. So after being engaged for a few days I set an appointment at a little shop in town and made it a date with my roomies including my best friend ever (minus Ben), Petey.

You can tell a lot about what your experience is going to be like right from the second you walk into a dress store. And let's be real: it is my opinion that when wedding dress shopping, you are shopping for the right experience JUST as much as you are shopping for the right dress. You know you want a "Say Yes to the Dress" moment. Don't deny it.

Anyhow, from the moment I walked into this store, I felt way special. My consultant was incredibly helpful and she gave me her full attention. To me, this was really important. I went to other stores where I walked in and no one helped me or even talked to me. Another opinion I have is that the people you work with while planning your wedding should be happy for you...especially if they are specifically in the wedding industry... See what I mean about coming off as a snot...but really... weddings should kind of be a big deal.

I fell in love with the 2nd dress I tried on. I mean, it was totally the aforementioned "Say Yes to the Dress" experience. When I looked in the mirror, I totally fell in love. I loved how I looked. I loved how I felt. I loved the fact that Petey teared up when she saw me (I've known this girl for like 10 years and I've only seen her cry twice). It was the best.
See? I loved it!


It was only the 2nd dress.

Obviously, I couldn't just pick that one. I tried on more. And more. And then I tried on Dress #2 again. I loved it... probably even more than the first time...but I still couldn't commit. Not yet. And then, in a semi-freak-out, I planned an impromptu trip home so that I could shop up north with Mom and Heather.

I drove home the very next day (peacing out to classes and work) and hit up as many dress stores as possible in a short, one day trip. Here's me being honest: I wanted a repeat experience. Just with different people.

And, really, truthfully, my mom and I have verrrry different tastes.

I didn't get exactly what I wanted when I went home. I didn't get another "Say Yes to the Dress" experience. My mom and I liked different dresses and different features. She liked lace and I liked tulle. And Heather ended up only being able to go to one store with us. However, going up north was not a mistake. I found dresses I liked. I got to shop around with my mom and sister. I got wedding dress shopping out of my system. And after that, I knew that the one in Cedar, Dress #2, really was The One. The trip was well worth it.

I've got lots more to say on this topic...but it's getting late. Trust me, I could keep writing...but I'm trying to be responsible...