Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bridesmaids' dresses: Graceful Saga part une

Pretty Pretty Princess and I took a little road trip to NashVegas this weekend. It's not even hardly like a road trip anymore. I just go there and turn right around to come home. I can't think of a time I have spent more than 24 hours there. It's numbing, actually.ANYWAY! To play some lacrosse, we made this little trip. I promise it was about lacrosse. We requested a hotel with a Twilight vibe - Voila, we're in the middle of a waterfall a la Twi. Voila again - hometown lacrosse wherever we looked.We came across a wedding set up. Seriously? You want to get married in the middle of a hotel lobby with men in plaid shorts carrying goodie bags from a convention? I mean, awesome!!!! How romantic!!! I would love to plan a glam wedding in the wide open lobby of the Opryland Hotel with about 20,000 tourists and conventioneers wandering around. My privilege. Call me if that's what you want.
The glam life called us from the lacrosse mission - temporarily. We had to go try on some bridesmaid's dresses for the Graceful Bride. So, off we went from Twi-zone to Princess Palace (aka B Hughes Bridal) to try on dresses.
Actually, we were on a mission from the Graceful Bride to try on a single specific dress.
But I'm not about to get 2 high school lax players out of bed early to go try on one dress. Also, I get to illustrate the step by step process of picking a bridesmaid's dress.Not so fast, Sister. Texting Graceful Bride, I'm sure, but still....Yeah, sorry. Rule #1 - we're going to try on a few more dresses. It helps to have at least two girls (not the bride) try on dresses.
That step thing helps a lot too. Everyone looks better tall. Taller, I meant. You can see how the dress works on different people. The bride doesn't actually have to try on the bridesmaids dress because the bride won't wear it. 13 of her dearest friends do. We need to make sure we don't make it look chaotic up front in the church.Yes, this dress does have pockets. Let's get pockets in the bridesmaid's dresses to carry....oh, the lip gloss! Yeah, that's it.NO, we don't keep our hands in said pockets while modeling, because it makes the shape of the dress do odd things. I think the pockets are to carry the phone. Because who doesn't want 13 bridesmaids with one whole side of the dress hanging down with the weight of a phone that girls will whip out for a quick text during pictures. Pockets, pockets, pockets. There's a wedding conundrum for you. I vote .....(no cell phones in pockets during weddings, please).
It didn't take Graceful Bride's sister long to get the hang of modeling - what with the step-up box and the huge mirror. We are here to look at the dresses. The hair....Thank you.
What? You may not like the color. That's why they make a swatch card. Pick ANOTHER color. Not so sure about that whole swooping piece in the front? Well, being the professional glam wedding planner that I am, I have a special tool to take care of something like a stray swoop. SCISSORS are a wedding planners best friend.
Some dresses are super- flattering to pretty much everybody.
This is one of those dresses. Front . . . back . . sideways - flattering.
The Home Depot industrial construction clips help. Those black strings are there to help the dress stay on the hanger. We tuck them in or cut them off before the wedding. We do not cut them off in the store. They won't even let me in the store with my trusty scissors.We think we pretty much like the first dress, but maybe if it were all the same color - say the navy....Not the exact same dress, but a solid navy dress. Navy photographs pretty dark.
So what does a light colored dress look like? Remember, it doesn't have to be THIS dress, this is just a light colored neutral dress that we tried on. You see a lot more detail with a light color. Nice palette for flowers.
This one doesn't quite fit right, even with the industrial Home Depot clips...and maybe a bit too much of the girls on display?
Let the lady who works there every day help. She knows how to - shall we say - adjust things. Yes, we know this dress is 8 sizes too big. Whatever. The REAL dress will be ordered in a size that fits withOUT the Home Depot clips, and then will be altered to fit the bridesmaid. It's not unusual for one thing to be not quite right. Remember swatch cards? Some No. NO.
I told you she plays lacrosse in a racerback jersey.
Then, feed the hungry girls after a long morning's work. Because they have to play lacrosse. Again.I know. Frustrating, this whole thing of 5 games in less than 24 hours. How do you think I felt when we added in the dress expedition?I'm not the only one who wanted a picture to prove they played lacrosse this weekend. "We are a positive and encouraging team!" Indeed.

Hey, Bonus Boy. It's always good to see you. He missed the dress-expedition. Looks a little sad about it, you say?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Secret Conversations at Lacrosse

I wish I had had a visual record of every lacrosse game that PPP has played, with my commentary. I do. Wish that.

Nope, I was lying. I don't wish that.
I like this part. They line up and say "Good game! Good game! Good game!" and they say it even when the game has been horrible and unfair and wicked. Also they are hoping that no one has spit on her hand. That stuff I like. PPP and our Young Son aren't lacrosse All Americans, but they just have so much fun playing the game. It's really fun to watch.

And I do love to have compelling and uplifting conversations with the other parents during the games. The MANY games we go to each and every week.

Filmster: What's your Young Son's name? Isn't it something like Edward ? Cullen? I can't quite remember. Does he actually PLAY in lacrosse games?

Me: Bleh, bleh, mumble, mumble...stunned into silence. I don't multi-task as well as I might, and am easily stunned into silence by...well, you know, unexpected questions. Phrased unexpectedly.

Filmster: (into the camera) That was a bad call. Reffing is terrible. (to me) Oh, but does he ever actually PLAY?

Me: Do you think I sit in the freezing rain, the horrible cold drinking nasty hot chocolate just to watch Big Russ play? Though Big Russ is pretty awesome.

Filmster: Well, does your Brutus actually play? Maybe he's on the JV team? (Into the camera) Not my PreshBabe's fault! Way to go Babe!!!!! (Really loud, Babe can hear)

Me: Do you think I sit in the beautiful afternoon sunlight with my friends, chatting away awaiting Babe's breathless arrival to see Big Russ play, because...

Filmster: (into the camera) Not Babe's fault. Dirty Shot! Shake it off Babe! (to me) So, your young Son, what's his name? Emil? He does stuff like keep score? Is he on the practice team? Run the clock, Blow the horn? What is it? Francis? Me: NO, actually he plays. PPP does the clock and the horn.

Filmster: JV though, not on the real team? (to the camera) Somebody else didn't give good coverage! Good move, Babe!
Me: Yes, on the JV. He's like a water boy. Sometimes they let him wash the dirty socks. The socks of Big Russ. (Is that the right answer - the one that will make this end?)
Filmster: Way to go Babe...Yeah, that's what I thought. What's his name again? Otto?
Even though I don't have a visual record of every game PPP has played, I do have a visual record of....well, you know. Interesting stuff.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to buy the perfect wedding dress

Way back in December, we went shopping. It's a special privilege of my glam life as a Wedding Planner. It was the week of finals for this Pretty Bride, so her mom and I took a road trip, since she lives in Big D, and we live in little m. More cool glam stores there. All we did was eat and shop. Pretty glamorous! OH - and I got to spend the night all by myself in thoroughly clean-ness and absolute silence. Spectacular road trip, and all I had done so far was check-in. They must have known I require a lot of pillows! A matched set of pillows standing at attention across the bed. And the pristine quiet. I was so stunned by all of it, especially the little marching pillows, that all I could think to do was take a picture. Who does that? Who looks through her pictures and find images of hotel rooms?

Pretty Bride had pre-shopped all fall. In fact 'the dress' was the first dress I saw her try in early October, on a different wedding-dress-shopping road trip. It was perfect then, and the standard to which all further dresses were measured. All 264 more that she tried on, including this dress several times. Several times. It's my experience that when that Perfect Dress is located, there is no turning back. Not too many girls debate once they have found THE dress. Compare, yes. Doubt? Not so much.

So...we shopped that weekend in December. At one store. I had called ahead and made sure that the potential "Perfect Dress" was going to be in the Bridal Salon. Our Pretty Bride brought a friend, which is only fair, since her mom had brought a friend, which would be me. The friend brought coffee, and I spent a good bit of the morning wishing I had brought coffee too. Oh well, the fear of spillage on the wedding dresses haunts me. Coffee + wedding dresses + stores = not me.
Those clips on the back are covered with a vinyl coating, so as not to snag a delicate dress. They look like they come from Home Depot. Because in fact, they DO come from Home Depot. Did you want to know that? That gorgeous special princess dresses can be made to appear to fit using carpentry tools from Home Depot?
Next step is to try on another dress that you are absolutely NOT going to buy, what with the dark jeweled affair crawling down the shoulder. Try on another to walk around in for comparison. Just one more try on....just one more to be sure. Then, stop trying on.
Being in the wedding salon is a luxurious experience. It's enough to make a girl feel like a princess. Princess I believe is the effect we're going for.Moms take pictures. Why else did you bring your mother for such a momentous and costly purchase? The costliness maybe? No, pretty sure it's the pictures.
Months later, when my own Pretty Pretty Princess was standing at the door with a gigantic brown box in her hand...
Mom was surprised! Delighted! Thrilled! Relieved!Honestly, it's kind of anticlimactic -for a teensy minute - when the packaging is a regular brown box, without a hint of what's inside. It's the same size as a lawnmower box or a table lamp box. What if we had opened it and found a table lamp inside the plain brown box? When our Pretty Bride came home, she thought SHE was the one with gifts in hand - since she came home bearing Mother-of-the-bride dresses for Mom to try on. Surprise! Not a lawnmower. Not a table lamp.
Yes, we do, we do indeed think it's the most beautiful dress in the world. And elegant. And even prettier than you remembered from way back in the winter, the week of finals.Sorry, I'm not showing The Perfect Dress yet. Just the smiles.
How do I know it's THE dress, The Perfect Dress? In my professional opinion? I look for this moment...the moment when Mom wipes her tears in her daughter's hair, as she watches her girl transform herself into a bride.