Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Dress Search, Or, How I Tried On a Gazillion Dresses Before Finding "The One": Part 2


The title for these posts are ridiculous, I know. But it's true, it felt like I tried on so many dresses and none of them felt right. Eventually I thought that I just wasn't meant to have that "ah-ha" moment, so I did not expect to have one. And in the end, I really didn't.

My dress search ended for a few months while I finished up at school. In January I went with SIL/Bridesmaid Bree to Doreen Leaf Designs Bridal Salon. This is the place were I ultimately found my dress, but not where I bought it. I wasn't overly impressed with their customer service and would rather give my money to a place with nice people. I guess that's not really fair to say because my consultant was very nice, it just wasn't the best experience. Anyway, Bree and I were able to take pictures this time. Unfortunately, I don't have the names or style numbers of any of the dresses. Here we go! All photos are from the camera of Bridesmaid Bree.

This one was a serious contender. I loved the detail on the bust which continued around the back. I also loved the buttons going all the way down the train. In the end, it just didn't feel like me. It wasn't fitted enough for my taste and felt too formal.

This one was just...a lot. In the beginning of my online dress search I was convinced that I wanted lace and beading and sparkles and girlie-ness. Once I started trying on dresses that fulfilled these requirements, I was just not that into it. By the way, it didn't help that every dress I tried on was AT LEAST 2 sizes too big. I mean, I guess it's not the worse problem to have, but it kind of sucks that you can't see exactly how something will fit. Especially something with a pretty hefty price tag. Anyway, it just kinda felt weird on.

This dress was too A-line for me. If it had fit a bit more snug around the tush it could have been a contender.

OK...this was the STRANGEST dress I tried on. It had this weird semi-detachable part to it, with random snaps. I have no idea. The three of us (me, Bree, and consultant) just looked at it with puzzled faces and decided to move on.

In the end, I tried on 2 dresses that day (the first one in this post, and another not pictured) that I emailed to the most important girls in my life. The consensus was clear--they loved both but felt the one not pictured here was the one for me. Here is another teaser:

Boobies! Ha. Up next...the big reveal!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Dress Search, Or, How I Tried On a Gazillion Dresses Before Finding "The One"


So tomorrow is a big day. BIG day. Why? Well, I'm ordering my wedding dress!!! I know I'm still 14 months (today) away from the wedding, but I want to get this out of the way. I'm done searching. Yesterday I read something and basically it said buying your dress is like saying "yes" when your fiance proposes. After you've done it, no more looking for something better. Hopefully I wont be tempted to try on any more dresses.

My search for the "perfect" dress (if there is such a thing) has been a long one. About a month after getting engaged I went to The Perfect Bride in Rocky River. My mom actually suggested going; I think she was more excited than she let on. We were not allowed to take pictures in the store (I couldn't even sneak them because there were no mirrors in the dressing rooms!) but I will say it was a fantastic experience. Carly, my consultant, was such a doll. We actually went to high school together but didn't know each other. She had me trying on nearly every dress in the store. I felt very glamorous that day. At the end of the day, there were a few contenders but I didn't leave the store feeling like I'd found "The One." The dress that stuck in my mind was by Paloma Blanca, style 3809.

I loved the patterned fabric and the brooch on the bust. After going back with a bridesmaid to try it on again, I realized I definitely wanted to keep looking. There is much more to this story, but for now I'll leave you with a teaser of my dress.

(Photo from author's personal collection)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Venue Search Part 1: Unexpected Tears

Once Burning River Groom popped the q (which I'll write about...eventually) I started looking for venues. Ok, maybe I started looking before he actually asked. What? Don't tell me you didn't do it, too. I looked at so many places, but none really made me say "I need to see this place NOW." We (and pretty much whenever I say "we" I mean "I" because BRG just wants to marry me) wanted a place downtown, maybe outside, and not a wedding factory. To me, hotels just don't have that "wow" factor, even though they make the most sense. I *wish* we had some cool hotels in Cleveland.

Luckily, we do have one pretty cool place called Windows on the River. My mom mentioned it and when I did some research I knew it was a contender. There are two rooms, the Bridgeview and the Cityview. For the record, I DID take pictures when we first visited, but a few months later my computer freaked out and deleted *all* of my picutres. The ones from the Windows website are better(ish) anyway.

We originally wanted the Bridgeview Room:

When I walked into the room for the first time it literally took my breath away. It was all set up for a wedding later that day and the sight of it made me tear up. Why was I crying? Silly bride. But I couldn't help but think, "This is it, I am done looking."

The Cityview room was nice, too:


Our biggest concern was those big green pillars. We figured they would block people's views and we certainly didn't want that. My mind was made up, I wanted the Bridgeview room. However, I knew I had to be realistic so I continued searching just to make sure...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So what's this about a "burning river?"

I'm from Cleveland. My city is known for a few things: the sucky Cleveland Browns (there's always next year...), the bi-polar Cleveland Indians (the 2007 playoffs broke my heart), LeBron James (we're going all the way this year, baby!), and the burning of the Cuyahoga River. Now, I don't know the story really, and I don't particularly care. I know it actually burned a few times years and years ago. So. Dirty.

I decided to call my blog "Burning River Bride" because our wedding is on the banks of the infamous Cuyahoga River. Can't get more Cleveland than that! Our venue has HUGE windows, hence it's name which I'll talk about in a later post. These windows will allow us to look out at our majestic river and reminisce about our great city (sarcasm, anyone?). Our burning river is so famous, there is even a beer named after it.


I've never tried it, but from past experiences with Great Lakes Beer, I assume it tastes pretty close to the actual water in the Cuyahoga River. I'm a sassy bride today, aren't i?

About Us Part 2

When I left you, I saw a young man who looked vaguely familiar approaching me. Luckily, it WAS Josh. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. In his pictures he had facial hair and it was something that I thought made him very attractive. In person, he was clean shaven. We had an awkward hug, shared a few awkward sentences, and went on our way.

A few days later, I agreed to meet up with him at a bar. As I approached him, I again was disappointed. WHAT was he wearing? I knew if this was going anywhere I'd have a lot of work to do in the fashion department. We had a really fun (read: really drunken) night at the bar. We continued to talk all the time and had our second bar date about a week later. Again, massive quantities of alcohol were consumed (apparently I was trying to impress him with my drinking abilities) and we had our first kiss. Due to our, um, drunken state I decided I would pretend that I "didn't remember" and hoped he would do the same. A few days later, he invited me to his apartment to watch "The Notebook" (I know). That is when we had our first "real" (read: sober) kiss. It was fabulous and sparks definitely flew. We had our first "official" date a few weeks later and by November 24, 2005 we were boyfriend/girlfriend!

I definitely made him work for this, huh? My heart was definitely guarded as I had just gone through a rough break up as well as a dumping from a guy I thought I had some kind of a future with. I even told him, "I think I'm scared to like you." I really just needed to let it go, and finally I did. And look where we are now!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Marriage Equality

I am for marriage equality. I can't get any more blunt than that, I suppose. One of my best friends and a member of our wedding party is gay, and to think that he doesn't get to share the same rights that I do is appalling. On March 5 the California Supreme Court will revisit the Proposition 8 debate. I don't understand all of the legal jargon, but I know it is an important discussion. Here is a very powerful video that explains just what this whole mess is about.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Monday, March 2, 2009

About Us

I suppose I should explain who Burning River Bride is, as well as my Burning River Groom. Ha, he'd think that was so manly. Our story is not the typical, boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, blah blah. We met, dundundun, online! I guess these days it's not all that unusual, but I think it still has a bit of a stigma attached to it. However, whenever I tell some one, I'm usually surprised at their positive reaction. Sure, I get a lot of eye rolls, but I'm surprised at how many have similar stories.

Our online avenue was MySpace. So stalker-ish, I know. He messaged me during the summer of 2005 and we began an online friendship. We both went to Ohio University, but he was older so I figured he'd be able to give me booze and a place to party. At the time, I was kind of seeing some one (clearly that did not work out) and I considered our correspondence to be purely platonic. I think he had other ideas. Once we returned to school that fall, he asked EVERY SINGLE DAY if I wanted to hang out. I'm not exaggerating. Did I want to have lunch? Did I want to go to dinner? Did I want to come over and watch a movie? Every day. And every day I said no. I had running dinner and lunch dates with my best friend (and now bridesmaid!) that I didn't feel comfortable breaking for some guy I'd never met.

One day were chatting online while he was in class. Class was about to end and I was about to go to dinner. We said our online goodbyes and I headed off to dinner. The building his class was in happened to be located right by my dorm. As I walked out the door, I noticed a guy who looked familiar (remember, I'd only seen pictures at this point) and as he walked closer I nervously said "Uhh, Josh??"

To be continued...