Engagement Pics!

I am finally revealing our amazing engagement pictures from the extremely talented Gladys Jem. I have to say that getting your picture taken can be a bit uncomfortable. During our entire session I kept thinking to myself, “We are so awkward – we are not giving Gladys anything to work with!” But then we received them and I was blown away. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but if you are in the Bay Area, I highly suggest reaching out to Gladys. She has been a “Jem” to work with it (get it? I’m hilarious). On top of taking amazing pictures, she has a killer personality – I am excited to have her by my side the entire wedding day! Hope you like the pics as much as we do!

STDs – no not that kind

We are just about nine months out from our wedding and slowly but surely knocking things off of our to-do list. We booked our photographer last weekend (more on her later, but I am in love!) and the next thing I would like to tackle is our Save the Dates (aka STDs!). I know not everyone sends out STDs, but as my fiancé’s family lives in the Midwest and my family is on the East Coast, they are an absolute must for us. We want to give our guests plenty of time to plan for a trip out to San Francisco, especially since this will be the first trip out to CA for many of them. Now here’s the tough part – choosing an STD. Man, it is hard! There are just too many beautiful options out there. I do love STDs that feature the couple (and of course the engagement pictures that you likely paid a pretty penny for).

But, I would really like to get ours mailed out sooner rather than later and I am not sure how quickly we can turn a photo shoot around along with creating the actual STD.

So currently I am leaning toward STDs that highlight San Francisco. As I mentioned, we are inviting a LOT of out-of-towners to our wedding. And we want the city of San Francisco to shine right alongside us on our big day. We hope that all of our guests fall in love with this city as much as we have and utilize our wedding as an excuse to visit one of the best places in the world (can you tell I like this city?).

I especially love ones that have a more vintage feel.

And how cute is this STD that highlights the BART System (that's Bay Area Rapid Transit for you non-locals).

Oh and I am leaning toward postcards. I like that they emphasize the travel theme (and who’s kidding who, let’s save a dollar where we can!).

I would love to know your thoughts on the above. Did you send out a Save the Date?

Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Dress Update #1

I am calling this update #1 since, long story short, I did not purchase a dress while home for the holidays. So there will have to be an update #2 (and maybe a #3 and #4…). Although shopping was fun, after visiting three different wedding dress stores, I found the process COMPLETELY overwhelming. I really thought I was going to be a lot more decisive and just know more immediately whether I loved or hated a dress. Of course there were a few dresses that I put on and knew immediately that it was not THE dress. But those were the exceptions. For the most part I felt every dress I tried on was very pretty, and I could be happy in it on my wedding day. Thrilled? Maybe not. But happy – sure.

I think after watching WAY too many episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” I really thought I would have that moment where I would look in the mirror and feel butterflies in my stomach. I would look over at my sister and my mom and they would be pulling out the tissues. The consultant would look at me and say, “Is this your dress?” I would then respond emphatically “YES!” without a single doubt in my mind that this was the dress I was meant to walk down the aisle in.

Well, that didn’t happen.

But I did come out of this experience with some concrete learnings. Namely, I need to listen to my gut. There was one dress I tried on that my family loved – and I did too. But there was something telling me it wasn’t the one. Finally, after a second visit to the store to talk to the seamstress about the dress, I randomly found out that a high school friend wore it to her wedding, which immediately ruled it out for me. After making the decision not to buy it, the biggest sense of relief washed over me. It wasn’t THE dress and I knew it and I should have listened to my gut from the beginning.

Anyway, I am going to take a couple weeks off to cleanse my palate. Next week I am going with a friend to look at a dress that she has her eye on for her wedding. Maybe that will reignite a desire to look for my dress. But for now, I need a break!

Anyone else experience something similar? Were you expecting a “Say Yes to the Dress” moment, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way? I would love to hear about it!

P.S. Sorry for the not so great pictures – we were trying to be covert!

Take My Breath Away

Are you following me yet on Pinterest? Well you should be! And if you already are, then you’ve probably noticed a trend among my flower posts – Baby’s Breath. I love it! No longer just a cheesy filler flower (you know it was a part of your prom corsage/bouquet back in the day!), Baby’s Breath looks amazing on its own. It reminds me of a soft, airy cloud. Ok, but who am I kidding – my immediate draw to it was the price – it is super inexpensive!

I originally thought this flower would be great to accent my rustic, outdoor wedding.

Credits: Jar, Bouquet, Table Number, Arch, Buckets

But now that we have switched to a more classic, city venue, I think it could still work.

Credits (clockwise from top left): Aisle, Centerpiece 1, Centerpiece 2, Bouquet, Centerpiece 3

A few tips on using baby’s breath that I have learned in my research:

1. Baby’s Breath is often confused with Lilly of the Valley – an equally pretty flower that is MUCH more expensive (Hello - Lilly of the Valley is what Kate Middleton used in her bouquet and she’s a princess!).

2. DIYing your bouquet? You can order baby’s breath in bulk from places like Costco and Sam’s Club (Sam’s Club lists it under “filler,” but you know better…).

3. Baby’s Breath is much easier to work with since you are using just one type of flower and won’t require formal training as a florist to arrange!

Whether your wedding is country rustic or city glam, I think Baby’s Breath looks stunning in both bouquets and center pieces. Have you used Baby’s Breath or seen it being used at a wedding? Share in your comments below!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who offered photographer suggestions in my first post! They were all awesome and you’ve already made my photog search easier!

{Real Brides} Brianne :: City Bride

Hello Engaged & Inspired Readers! I am excited to be a part of the new batch of blogging brides-to-be and can’t wait to share all the details of my wedding with you! Now I just have to figure out all the details of my wedding. While I figure those details out, here’s some information about me:

Name: Brianne
Age: 31
Location: San Francisco, CA
Budget: In the process of finalizing!
Occupation: PR Exec
Wedding Date: 10.27.12
Planner: Ashley Smith of BuzzWorthy Events SF
Photographer: TBD – there are so many good ones! How do you choose!?!?
Venue: The City Club of San Francisco

Connect with Brianne: E-mail, Twitter, Pinterest

About Me: I am a born and bred Philadelphian that presently resides one of the greatest cities in the world, San Francisco. My fiancé is the most amazing man I have ever met and I can’t believe he picked me to spend the rest of his life with. I lovingly refer to him as Sprouts. More on him later though – let’s get to the good stuff (sorry babe!).

Wedding Style: After an almost three month long venue search, we have decided to get married in San Francisco at the gorgeous City Club. It’s quite a departure from our original thoughts on a venue of rustic and outdoor, but it could not be more perfect for us! With amazing Art Deco architecture, beautiful gold-leafed ceilings and a mural that will knock your socks off, the venue has basically dictated the look and feel of our classic San Francisco wedding. We can’t wait to have our sophisticated and elegant wedding in the City by the Bay!

Credits: CakeBride & GroomCenterpieceFontLogoPrograms

Our wedding date is October 2012 – so we have more than 11 months to go! It sounds like a lifetime to me, but I know it will go quicker than I could ever expect. So now that you know where I am going to get married, you basically know everything that I have done for our wedding. Yep – I’ve got a long way to go! So for all you brides a bit farther in the planning process, feel free to share your tips on what to do next – I’m all ears!