Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Said Yes...To the Dress!

Wedding dress shopping yesterday was a success!  My mom, sister, two of my lovely friends, and I traveled to Fargo to check out two bridal shops.  Our first stop was David's Bridal, and our second appointment was at a local bridal boutique. 

I had looked at many dresses online before beginning the dress shopping process.  In this post, I analyzed what aspects of the dress were most important to me.  I concluded I wanted an ivory dress with interesting details, a sweetheart neckline, and a trumpet shape. The dress that fulfilled these requirements would be my "dream" dress.

The most difficult part of picking out my dress was keeping true to my original idea of my dream dress.  Everyone who I brought along gave me invaluable guidance, but I knew I would have to be strong and stay true to my ideal dream dress if I was going to be completely happy with my decision.  In the end, my decision was both easy and hard.  Easy, because I knew I was choosing the perfect dress for me; and hard, because I knew not everyone I had brought along might have picked the same dress.

I am sure you are all waiting for pictures.  Here it is!  (Shhh...remember this is top secret!)

This dress is a David's Bridal dress, and I am ordering it in ivory (the ivory is very subtle, and actually appears to be more of a softer white).  I will be altering the top of the dress to make the style more of a defined sweetheart neckline.  This dress has everything I was originally looking for: the color, the shape of the dress, and a soon-to-be added sweetheart neckline.  The dress also has the details I was looking for.  I love the ruching across the  bodice, and I am a huge fan of the sparkly belt to accent my waist. 

The next big task is to find really dramatic sparkling jewelry to accent this dress.  I can't wait to start shopping for those pieces! 

I bought my shoes yesterday at David's Bridal as well.  I like the elegant and classy peep-toe heel:

The dress pictures are exciting, but I have saved the best part of this post for last.  When I sat down to write this blog post, I included the link to my wedding dress post.  Go to that post again, and scroll down to dress #11.  That's the dress I picked!!!  When I chose the dress yesterday, I did not realize this dress was originally one of my dream dresses.  I really think my dress decision was meant to be.  :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wedding Cake

Lee's aunt is making our wedding cake for us, so I thought I would compile some ideas of cake designs, just in case she asks.  For Neil and Laiel's wedding reception (Lee's brother and sister-in-law), she made an extravagant cake with Native American fondant designs since Laiel is Native American.  I also hear she can make all kinds of flavors.

My favorite flavors are chocolate and white marble cake with almond frosting and white chocolate raspberry cake with vanilla frosting.  I prefer buttercream frosting over fondant.  For cake designs, I tend to gravitate toward more traditional cake designs (none of Ace of Cakes' crazy designs for me!).  I like white cakes with white, black, or other monochromatic designs on them.  Here are some examples I have found:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Developments

I wanted to let you know an important tidbit of information: Lee and I have picked a date!  We are planning on getting married July 14, 2012.  Mark your calendars! 

Lee and I have been working on our guest lists.  The wedding is going to be quite a bit bigger than I initially thought.  We are looking at having approximately 250 to 300 guests.  This eliminates a lot of different options I was considering for the venues.  Because of the planned size, we decided we will be getting married at Hope Covenant Church (Lee's church).  I am looking forward to figuring out how we are going to decorate the sanctuary.  :)

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dress Shopping!

I had my first experience dress shopping today.  I went with my mom, my sister, and Becca.  I found a dress I really like...and here it is!

It's a Maggie Sottero dress.  You can find it at this link.  I tried it on in ivory.  I felt pretty glamorous in it!

I will also be going dress shopping on Monday in Fargo.  I might look at some bridesmaid dresses, too!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I've only been home for just over 24 hours, but wedding planning with my parents has already been happening.  Here's an update with some of the highlights:

The Touch of Magic in East Grand Forks (the venue which I indicated as my first choice for a wedding reception in a previous blog post) is closing at the end of 2011.  Looks like I won't be having my wedding reception there!  ***Sigh...***  Moving on to my second choices, I guess.

One of these second choices was the Hilton Garden Inn.  I called the Hilton today, and I found out they seat up to 200 people in their reception hall.  My mom and I went to visit with their event coordinator this afternoon.  After visiting with her about prices and options, my mom was absolutely sold on the venue.  I think the Hilton is a great venue too, so I will be scheduling a taste-testing of the food once Lee gets back into Grand Forks.  We'll look at the Hilton's reception hall again at that time and make our final decision!  Even though I can't have the reception at my favorite choice, I'm really happy with how things are working out with the Hilton.  I think it is meant to be!  After all, the Hilton is the place where Lee and I first met.

I also called the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMA) today to check prices for the ceremony venue.  The NDMA charges TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to rent the building for a wedding ceremony.  The price is absolutely disgusting, and definitely not within my budget constraints.  Also, policies at the NDMA do not allow wedding ceremonies to take place during museum hours.  Even if I could afford it, I don't think I would want an evening wedding.  It's time to start considering plan B for the ceremony venue, and I don't think the answer will come as easily as it did for the reception venue. 

Major point of dissension between me and my mom: photography.  Having a good (strike that, not just good, but talented) photographer is really important to me.  My mother disagrees.  She thinks one photo is just like the next photo and suggests I hire someone I know to take pictures.  I really don't feel comfortable hiring someone who is not a professional photographer.  I know photography can eat up a large portion of the budget.  However, I don't think I want to settle on this issue.  

Dress shopping is in the near future!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Another big decision: Color! You can't really make any decisions on decorations until you have your color picked out. Like every other aspect of the wedding planning process, I have a feeling choosing a color won't be easy. The problem is I like too many colors! Lee prefers the color blue for a wedding. I like blue too, so I might just let him choose the color, as long as I get to pick the shade of blue.

Pictures of my favorite colors for a wedding:

Slate Blue

Eggplant Purple

Neutral-patterned bridesmaid dresses

Champagne or Light Gold

Black (with very bold, colorful flowers and jewelry!)

Jade Green

Gray (again, with very bold, colorful accessories)

Apple Red

What are your favorites? Also, what dress styles do you like to see on bridesmaids? Any of the above?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fine Dining and Dancing

If you haven't read my previous post concerning where to have the ceremony, please look at the post below and read!

Also adding to the "where" factor: the reception venue. I feel this venue will be easier to determine once the ceremony venue has been decided. Here again are pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Touch of Magic
Pros: Beautiful venue, one of the most sought-after venues in Grand Forks, really tasty food, romantic atmosphere, feels intimate even though the venue can hold a large number of people, wood dance floor, buffet-style service
Cons: None that I can think of!

Ralph Englestad Arena
Pros: Beautiful venue with marble floors, unique
Cons: Large space for people to get spread out in, echoes because of marble floors

Hilton Garden Inn
Pros: A fun place to dance, place where Lee and I first met, intimate setting, decent food
Cons: Holds only ~100 people

Alerus Center Ballroom
Pros: Large enough for all guests, can be decorated really cute
Cons: Feels too large because of cavernous ceilings, have to pay for everything from the tablecloths and napkins to the pieces of the dance floor

North Dakota Museum of Art
Pros: Architecture of this building, can host dinners, built-in dance floor, balcony overlooking the main floor
Cons: May be too small (would have to check), museum's in-house catering service isn't very good, don't know what art would be on display

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Where to get married? That will be a question Lee and I will need to answer soon.

I'll describe each of these pictures, then I'll lay out the pros and cons of each location.

Location 1: UND campus chapel - inside

Location 1: UND campus chapel - outside

Location 2: Hope Evangelical Covenant Church - inside (at Becca's wedding!)

Location 3: UND North Dakota Museum of Art - outside

Location 3: UND North Dakota Museum of Art - inside view from balcony

Location 3: UND North Dakota Museum of Art - inside looking across the entire museum

Location 4: Christ the King Free Lutheran Church - inside

Location 4: Christ the King Free Lutheran Church - inside

Location 5: My farm


Location 1: UND campus chapel

Pros: Really beautiful inside and outside and located at our alma maters
Cons: Only holds ~100 people and no place to get ready inside the chapel

Location 2: Hope Evangelical Covenant Church

Pros: Holds as many guests as necessary, Lee's home church, and lots of decorations available from church for ceremony and reception use
Cons: Located in a mall, "stage" atmosphere, and may feel too big

Location 3: North Dakota Museum of Art

Pros: Beautiful location (inside and out!), located at our alma maters, balcony for great ceremony photos, and a really unique venue
Cons: May not be big enough to hold all guests (would need to research how many chairs could fit) and can't pick the art on display at the time of the wedding

Location 4: Christ the King Free Lutheran Church

Pros: My home church
Cons: Only holds ~100 people and is not necessarily the most beautiful venue

Location 5: My farm

Pros: My home where I grew up
Cons: I don't control the weather. Or the mosquitoes.