Wedding Wednesdays: Bridesmaids and dresses

We have bridesmaids dresses!

Bridesmaids dress shopping was quick and easy

Before I get in to that, I’d like to introduce them even though they’ve all been on the blog several times. From left to right: Nancy (cousin), Isabel (friend, ex-roommate), Lori (sister and maid of honor), Vanessa (cousin), and Valerie (cousin). Not pictured: Andrea, Sean’s best friend, because she’s in NY. If you’ve been reading a while, these women should look familiar. If the cousins look alike, that’s because they’re sisters. They come as a package.

Judging the different options

Finding a dress was pretty easy, not that I expected it to be a huge hassle. My main worry was that I had waited too long and we’d have to put in a rush order. Fortunately, we figured it out rather quickly. .

To start off the process, I flipped through some catalogs and looked at dresses online. Initially, I didn’t find anything I really liked. And if I did like the dress, it was too expensive. I showed my cousins and sister the catalogs and pointed out a few dresses, but nothing was set in stone.

A couple weeks ago, I emailed everyone a few questions and a link to a Flickr album with 9 dresses I liked. I asked about budget, feelings about matching or wearing mismatched dresses, and which dresses they liked/disliked.

All the dresses were knee or tea length. Part of that is because shorter dresses will probably be cooler in late summer LA, but the main reason is a bit bridezilla. Simply put, I’m already short compared to my cousins and Isa and I’m convinced that they’ll look even taller in long gowns.

After the initial email I learned that everyone was on board with my choices and had chosen a clear front-runner, they were fine with the budget I had in mind, and we really needed to try on some dresses. Lori said it best, “I’m kind of indifferent on the dresses, because I don’t know how I like a dress until it’s on me. Soooo lets start shopping!”

On Saturday morning, we met up at the Alfred Angelo store in West Covina, a midpoint between LA, Ontario, and Hacienda Heights. Tía Martha came along with the cousins. My mom opted out since she wasn’t keen on their mother of the bride selection.

Front-runner online didn't pan out

We picked out four dresses to start and the saleswoman set up a few dressing rooms. Since we had five women trying on dresses, the process was rather quick. In less than an hour, we decided that we didn’t like the original front-runner and chose a new favorite with an added belt. Everyone tried on the dress and liked the fit. I texted Andrea in NY photos and details. She was on board with the others. We went forward with the order and got details on how Andrea could put in an order from across the country.

Modeling different options

And I checked another item off the to-do list.

Share:

Wedding Wednesdays

Less than six months out and I still refuse to buy bridal magazines

Wedding planning hasn’t made me go crazy yet, but it has turned my hair gray. Wait, that’s just genetics and aging. I can’t blame wedding planning.

Forthe last year, Sean and I do a little bit of planning and get a big thing like the date and venues out of the way and then take a break from wedding planning for a few weeks or more. That wasn’t a problem when we had more than a year to plan, but now we’re less than 4 months away and can’t procrastinate. Sean suggested Wedding Wednesdays, the day when we get out our to-do lists and check off some items.

Since my April Fool’s elopement post, we’ve been pretty productive.

Bridal Party

Picking up my dress. Still have tons to do on the wedding to-do list.

I picked up my dress! I got a call on Tuesday from Rosa’s Shop. I was surprised. I ordered it early in February, but didn’t expect to be in until next month. I stopped by yesterday and tried it on again. According to Rosa, I can’t lose/gain weight nor get taller. That should be easy, especially staying short. My dress has a lace-up back so it can be tightened/loosened and won’t need any alterations besides the bustle and maybe sewing in bra cups. I still need to figure out shoes, veil and any other accessories.

Sean chose his and the groomsmen’s suits. I’m hoping to gather up most of the bridesmaids for shopping this weekend. We have a few top choices.

We still need to figure out flower girls, but have a ring bearer. I asked my cousin Tony and his wife, Ingrid, if their elder son would be our ring bearer. They were happy and said yes. When I asked eight-year old Anthony, he said no and ran away to play. Kids are silly. I hope he comes around.

Reception
BCC patio

We re-visited the reception venue. The first time we visited, the staff was very helpful, but I didn’t know what to ask. This time, we got a much better sense of how the banquet hall and adjoining spaces are typically set up for weddings or parties. I had no idea we could use the hallway outside the room to place a photo booth. Last summer, we didn’t even check out the patio. I was surprised to find out it was much bigger than I’d imagined. I came away feeling better and excited about the party. Seriously, I worried our guests weren’t going to fit. In my imagination the venue had shrunk.

We hired a DJ. I know he’ll be able to handle my Mexican family’s requests since he has very similar roots (also from Jerez, Zacatecas). He won’t need to look for a copy of “La Marcha de Zacatecas”.

More arrangements

I searched for a florist and did some pricing in downtown LA’s flower district with my mom. I also met with a potential florist (recommended by a friend). We still have to hire a florist, but at least I have a budget in mind.

Met with and hired a bartender. She was recommended by Alexis (brother’s girlfriend). She’ll bring along two other people to handle our party. She also gave us some pretty good suggestions on stocking the bar on a budget.

Priced alcohol, plates and cutlery.

Ordered tablecloths and napkins. We found a wholesaler downtown who did custom colors and was more affordable than the rentals I’d looked into.

Ceremony/Church stuff

We had our second meeting with Fr Ricky at St. John Vianney and went over the results of the compatibility test we took at orientation last summer. We have some areas to work on/talk about, but we knew that.

We attended Engaged Encounter, a retreat for Catholic couples. Our church requires this rather than weekly classes in preparation for the sacrament of marriage. I liked the retreat because it was a focus on marriage rather than the wedding. It was nice to talk to several other couples with summer/fall weddings. Plus, it was refreshing to see what I’ve known all along: the average couple in Southern California is underrepresented on the popular wedding blogs.

Looked into a soloist to sing at the Mass. This meant asking my cousin, Fabiola, if she’ll sing. I’m crossing my fingers that she can make the trip from Guanajuato. Music is already included in the church fee, but I’d love to hear Fabiola sing a song or two.

Share:

Forty hours in New Orleans

It's like Disneyland, but with a lot more alcohol.

I’ve been a little lax on blogging. I’ve been out and about doing some cool stuff like taking a super quick trip to New Orleans for a wedding. Sean’s former ZogSports (intramural football) teammates, Tony and Christina, got married on May 12th.

I arrived on Friday. Sean picked me up at the airport. He flew in the day before and had an extra day to party and reunite with his New York friends. We dropped my stuff off at the hotel, Maison Dupuy, and walked around the French Quarter for a little bit.

Beignets at Café du Monde

Café du Monde

We had café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde and stared out at the Mississippi for a moment. Later that evening, we met up with several others for a delicious dinner at Emeril’s Delmonico.

Afterward we went to a club to meet up with the groom and more friends. We didn’t hang out too long since I was tired, still recovering from my cold and not really up for enjoying the New Orleans nightlife.

Pouring outside our window

On Saturday we had brunch near the hotel and then shared some beers with friends in a pirate-themed bar. I felt like I was at Disneyland with the pirate and French Quarter thing going on. We didn’t do much that afternoon except get ready for the wedding since we weren’t too interested in walking around in a storm.

Mr. & Mrs. Buglione

Tony and Christina’s wedding was a lot of fun and worth the too-quick trip. They had a short ceremony at Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was the first time I attended a Catholic wedding that wasn’t a full Mass; they just did the liturgy (readings) and vows. The reception was held at Maison Dupuy. Since the courtyard was still wet from the rain on Friday and Saturday, the party was moved to two smaller ballrooms indoors.

Highlights from the wedding:

Tony sings a song he wrote for Christina

– Tony sang/played a surprise song he composed for Christina. It was really sweet. Tony’s mom asked Sean how he was going to top that.

– The excellent band of about a dozen musicians and singers. They played covers of current pop songs and old rock hits but it wasn’t cheesy at all. They were great and once I started dancing I couldn’t stop. I guess when you’re in New Orleans there’s no shortage of great live music.

– The food. They set up a buffet of hors d’oeuvres, gumbo, roast beef carving station, fruit and cheese. Judging by how I felt the next morning on the flight home, I liked the food and champagne a little too much.

Suit up My Wedding Date

– My handsome date.

Teal twins!

– Being teal twins with Jen (totally unplanned). I think the color suits us well.

Go Dodgers!

– Dancing and partying with the NY crew. I hope they bring the party to our wedding, but leave the Yankee fandom out of our decorations. Sean really liked the groom’s cake.

Second Line through the French Quarter

– The second line through the French Quarter at the end of the party. It’s been a dozen years since I’ve been in a parade with a brass band. Last time, Rose Parade 1999, was much different since I (a) didn’t need to play my trombone and (b) wasn’t in a band uniform. Instead I just marched/walked to the music and waved a white handkerchief as is customary. Since it was a Saturday night, there were lots of spectators cheering on the wedding party as we circled several blocks in the French Quarter.

Second Line through the French Quarter

When we arrived back at the hotel, we danced a little more. I’m really glad my purse was big enough to hold a pair of flip flops. I wouldn’t have made it back to the hotel in my heels.

Adios, NOLA

We only got a few hours of sleep before waking up at 5 am to make our 7 am flights. Ugh. The trip home was not fun.

All non-iPhone pictures borrowed from Sean since I forgot my camera.

Share:

Listening to my (un)consciousness

Yesterday morning, I fainted… again. This happens once every few years. The symptoms/causes are usually similar. Last time, I was waiting in line at the school pharmacy. When I came to, there were several nurses and doctors from the student health center hovering over me. I remember one complimenting my purple flats, but mainly I was just embarrassed and my butt hurt from the fall.

This time, I was sitting. Yeah, it’s possible to faint while sitting.

When I hit the floor of the bathroom (I was on the toilet), Sean heard the noise and came in to help me.

“Cindy!” It sounded like he was yelling, I’m sure he wasn’t. His eyes were big and worried. I knew I had fainted, but I was confused why he was there. I had broken in to a cold sweat and my shirt felt damp. My head and knee hurt a bit from the fall.

It was a lucky coincidence that Sean was home. He’d left five minutes earlier to go the gym. Halfway down the block, he realized he’d forgotten his phone and returned. He came in, grabbed his phone and was almost out the door when he heard a loud thud in the bathroom.

When I was ready to go out of the bathroom, Sean helped me get back in to bed. I was still sweaty and dizzy. I immediately fell asleep.

I woke up a few hours later. My head hurt, but it wasn’t horrible. My neck felt worse. I couldn’t tilt it nor turn much to the right. The dizziness and other symptoms went away after my nap, but I still felt very tired. I rested throughout the day, drank a lot of water and Gatorade, and took a short walk to get some fresh air.

I didn’t go to the doctor until this morning. She checked me out for a concussion and gave me a muscle relaxer for my neck. I was cleared on the concussion. We talked about why I fainted (stress, dehydration, cramps, gastrointestinal issues). I mentioned running a half marathon on Sunday. She didn’t think it was a good idea, and I didn’t argue.

My neck feels better today than yesterday, but I still don’t have full range of motion. I’m a little bummed about backing out of my first race, but only because of the race fee. I knew I was far from doing my best on Sunday, but would’ve still ran the race out of stubbornness. Now, my body is saying it needs more rest. I’ll listen.

Share:

Zero miles, dozens of tissues

Sick days

Zero.

That’s the amount of miles I’ve run since May 4th. This does not bode well considering I have the Pasadena half marathon coming up in 5 days.

I have an excuse. Of course I do.

Mainly, I haven’t been up to it. My last run was a couple of hours before Sean and I were scheduled to attend a weekend long retreat for Catholic engaged couples. I know a lot of couples grumble about these classes or retreats required by the priest/church marrying them. I can’t lie and say I was really looking forward to it. There were a bunch of things going on that weekend I didn’t want to miss, but we’d already committed to the retreat. And I knew it was important. Marriage is a sacrament and it made sense to me to have to take some sort of class. I did the same thing as a kid/teen for Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation. I enjoyed the retreat and all the great conversations Sean and I had about our relationship and what we look forward to in the future. I got a lot out of it, most of which was great.

The one thing I came home with that I would’ve rather have left at the Montebello retreat center was a nasty cold I caught from one of the other 100+ participants. Ugh.

That cold knocked me out and kept me home from work a few days. In the past, I’ve been able to sorta keep up with my training and get in some easy runs even if I had the sniffles or a cough. This time around, I just wasn’t up to it. And I don’t feel bad. I’d rather be healthy and under trained on the 20th than still sick.

I doubt I’ll be able to knock out a PR or sub-1:50 (original A goal). I’m okay with that. I haven’t been too into running lately. I’m not sure why, but I think after the hard effort at the LA Marathon I’m ready for a little break.

Share: