Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Addiction

I, like most girls, have an unhealthy addiction to shoes. Pumps, boots, sandals, platforms, wedges, flats; I'm an equal opportunity buyer. My shoes take up 1 1/2 closets in our little 1 bedroom apartment, and upon walking into any department store my first stop is the shoe department.  Hopefully you have a better idea of my obsession. 

So naturally, shopping for my wedding shoes is of the utmost importance. I would love to say that the sky is the limit on wedding shoes, but I don't want to take advantage of the fact that my parents are so graciously paying for the entire wedding. With that said, it doesn't mean that I have to settle for a marked down pair of shoes from 3 seasons ago at TJ Maxx. (No offense to all you Maxxinistas out there. Trust me, I love a bargain just as much as you!)

I began my search by looking up the All-Stars: Manolo, Louboutin, and Choo. I found a beautiful pair of Loubs that would be perfect for my big day, until I looked at the price. I nearly spit out my coffee when I realized I would be paying almost $5000 for them! Then I thought that maybe I could find a similar pair for less, and voila, I did. I suddenly came to find that almost any pair of high end designer shoes has a more affordable counterpart. Here are a few examples that I found.

On the left: Jimmy Choo rhinestone sandals for $1500 
On the right: Vince Camuto for $140

On the left: Manolo Blahnik embellished pumps for $1300
On the right: Badgley Mischka for $245

On the left: Christian Louboutin Crystal Pigalle pump for $3400
On the right: Salvatore Ferragamo for $950 

On the left: Miu Miu crystal heel sandals for $990
On the right: Badgley Mischka for $255

And if you're looking for a little something blue...

On the left: Manolo Blahnik blue satin pump (made famous by Carrie Bradshaw) $965
On the right: RSVP for $79

The lesson to be learned here is that if you find a pair of shoes that you like, and they seem a little too far out of your price range, don't give up right away. There may just be a look-alike that won't hurt your bank account as much. They won't be the exact same pair (unless you go into knockoff territory, and that's just not me) but you can find a pair that's pretty damn close. As for me, the search continues for the right pair.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wedding Jewelry

I'm not a big jewelry girl. 90% of my pieces are costume, and I keep them in a messy pile on my dresser. For my wedding, I don't plan on piling on a ton of bling for the sake of looking beautiful; it's not my style. I would like to keep it classy, but unique. I hadn't even thought about my wedding jewelry until my future mother-in-law asked me how I was accessorizing my dress (which I still haven't found). I decided to see what I could find online. 

My initial search led me the most recognizable name in bridal jewelry: Neil Lane. Beautiful pieces, but not really my style. 

My next search led me to Roberto Coin, who had a few more pieces that were my style

Such a daring piece, but on the right bride, this could look amazing.

I found a few more designers that caught my eye, but nothing that really wowed me. Even my go-to designer, David Yurman failed to show me anything special (trust me, he's still my favorite). I think I'd rather go to Jeweler's Row in the city and get something made that's just for me. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dress Shopping

2 weeks ago I started dress shopping. What I thought was going to be a long day of appointments and trying on countless puffy dresses ended up being a fun day of trying on different styles while enjoying champagne with my bridesmaids, mom, and mother in law! We went to 3 boutiques and each one was it's own different experience. 

Aside from not finding a single dress that I liked, the experience at this store was awful. The woman helping me was very rude to and short with me and my bridesmaids, and even had the nerve to say "This should probably be the last dress you try on. We book our appointments hourly and my next bride is waiting downstairs." (Are you kidding me?!) Needless to say, I will not be contacting this store again, or recommending it to anybody.

By the time we got to our second stop, we all had a sour taste in our mouths. But we went into it open minded, telling ourselves that not all stores are like La Bella Moda. We were pleasantly surprised with Bridals by Danielle. They had a great variety of designers and dresses, and the saleswoman assisting me was extremely friendly and helpful in finding dresses that were suited to my style. She even paired the dresses that I like with a veil and accessories so I could get a better idea of the whole look.  My only critique of the store would be the woman who works at the front desk. We arrived early, and she was very rude to us, almost as if she didn't want us there. Besides her, I would definitely recommend this store to any bride.

Perhaps my favorite store of the day. Unveiled is owned by Fran Erace, a 30 year veteran of the bridal industry. She creates a completely unique and fantastic experience when shopping for a wedding gown. The selection is a little smaller than most stores, but she carries designers who are not as well known, allowing you to see dresses that are different than you see in every other store. She allots 2 hours per appointment, so you don't feel rushed. The most unique feature of the Unveiled experience is the runway in the middle of the store. After you put a dress on, she walks you out to a runway where you can strut your stuff for your bridesmaids. It's so much fun! If I were to recommend 1 place to a bride, this would be it! Fran is awesome, the dresses are absolutely stunning, and I honestly think I may have found "the one" there!

We weren't allowed to take pictures, but we managed to sneak one at Bridals by Danielle. This isn't "the dress" but I definitely felt like a bride when I tried this on.