a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

What to do with The Dress September 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — laragale @ 3:23 pm

The process of choosing what to do with your dress after the wedding is almost as daunting a task as shopping for it in the first place. I understand why so many brides vacuum seal their dresses and hide them away in a dark corner of their closet never to see the light of day again – I don’t like it but I understand it.trash-the-dress

I just sold my dress (to another wedding blogger no less!) and I have to say I experienced some sentimental pangs as I was packing it up. This was the gown I shopped for months for, harangued the nice people at Elizabeth Fillmore over (I had to have fabric covered buttons), and wore on one of the best days of my life. I don’t imagine there will be too many other days in my life where I can don a floor length satin gown. That wouldn’t go over too well in the classroom.

But part of the reason I wanted to sell my dress is because I did love it so much. It’s a gorgeous designer gown I got through the generosity of my father-in-law, and I wanted another bride to have the opportunity to wear it without as steep of a price tag. I know the bride who wore will give it her own personal flair, and I can’t wait to see how she styles it!

I understand there are a lot of considerations for brides who make this decision, so I decided to put together a few of the other options I came across in my decision making process.

Keep the dress, but change it up. I already posted about Sheri from Young House Love – I think her idea to dye her wedding dress so she could wear it again is genius. I did consider doing this with my dress as well, but even in another color my gown would be too formal for anything other than black tie!

Donate the dress. There are lots of organizations out there that provide dresses to brides who can’t afford them, and you can find a few here and here.

– Get creative. I’ve heard of brides using the fabric from their dress to create pieces of art, tablecloths, you name it. Or you could do something similar to the Thousand Dollar Dress project which I think is pretty awesome.

Trash it. For those brides who don’t mind getting dirty, the Trash the Dress trend can make for some pretty amazing pictures, and at least you get to wear it again!

Obviously, I chose to sell my dress and I’ve been really happy (despite a few seconds of separation anxiety) with that choice. I used OnceWed and it was easy to use and quick – I had lots of inquiries about the dress within just a few days and the responses were easy to manage.

What do you plan to do with your dress?


Local Love August 27, 2009

Remember the couple from A Picnic Wedding? Well the actual event occurred last weekend, and despite all sorts of near disasters (rain, cancellations, a visit to the emergency room) everything worked out in the end, and the whole event was absolutely beautiful.

I just love weddings where every detail is a clue to the couple’s personalities, and this one was one of the best examples I’ve seen. Both the bride and groom are very involved with their community, and are passionate about trying to live as green and locally as they can. Almost every detail was handmade, and every detail had meaning. In fact there were just so many moments that were tear-jerkingly sweet that I think I should rename this the Warm & Fuzzy wedding.

To summarize briefly: the ceremony was in a beautiful little church with a gospel choir, the whole wedding party travelled in petty cabs to the reception closeby, the food was all local and organic (including the best lavender iced tea ever!), the flowers were put together by the bride and friends that morning, and dancing was under the stars. Here are just a few of the many, many pictures we took!

picnic wedding copy


and the blogging continues… June 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — laragale @ 12:16 pm
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While I’ll still be posting weding recaps on this blog, I wanted to let you all know that I’ve started a new blog as well – La Vie Cheek. It’s going to be a mishmash of  life as a newlywed, shopping, and anything else fun to write (and hopefully to read!) about. I knew nothing about blogging before I started BridalCheek and I’ve loved getting to know the awesome online community. Depeche Mode says it best, I just can’t get enough!


Thank you everyone for continuing to read 🙂


Wedding Stuff for Sale June 18, 2009

Filed under: shopping,Uncategorized,wedding planning,weddings — laragale @ 2:49 pm
Tags: ,

I’m going to briefly interrupt my wedding recaps with some practical stuff – the image uploader on Weddingbee classifieds isn’t working, so I figured I would just host the images here! In addition to the table numbers in the post below I’m selling a damask ring bearer pillow, vintage brooch and shoe clips, birdcage veil, and garter from Piper Ewan (which I didn’t get to wear because my dress was too slinky!). Feel free to contact me here or on Weddingbee’s classfied site if you have any questions!

Jewelry and GarterRing Bearer Pillow


Our New Toy April 7, 2009

To commemorate Drew’s last mid-twenties birthday, his grandparents, dad, and I all went in together to get him a solution to the serious camera envy he’s been experiencing ever since the last wedding we went to where he played with a Canon Rebel.

Behold the Nikon D-40:


When we bought it today, our salesperson immediately lapsed into a foreign language rattling off words and abbreviations like “aperture,” “ISO,” and “granularity.” Drew nodded knowingly, while I became increasingly terrified that I would a) never be able to turn the camera on, much less take a decent picture b) these words also double as some password to the elitist photography underground or c) I am going to drop it. But all my fears quickly dissolved when I realized that the camera is not only user-friendly but really cool to use. Sure, I’m only pointing and shooting right now, but regardless we spent an awesome afternoon walking around German Village snapping pictures of everything in sight.

What does this have to do with weddings? Well, besides my urge to take creative pictures of my ring, I’m in the midst of a ton of DIY projects right now, so now I have the equipment to document it all in high res 🙂 For now I’ll leave you with a few of our beginning efforts. We have a lot to learn, but I think this will be a perfect new hobby for us to share.







Heaven in a Dressing Room April 1, 2009

Unfortunately, neither of my maids of honor (yes I have two) live in the same state as me. So when my best friend from college and I decided to meet in Pittsburgh which is about halfway between us to shop for her dress, I figured we should make the most of it! Drew and I are level two rewards members at Nordstrom, mostly because we bought his entire work wardrobe there last year, and the program comes with some perks. Some of them, like free shipping on all online orders I’ve taken advantage of, and others like the personal shopping service I hadn’t.

Let me just say, if you ever have the chance, a personal shopping trip at Nordstrom makes the best girl’s day ever! We arrived and were immediately ushered into a huge room filled with beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories all in our size…of course we immediately zeroed in on the Jimmy Choo’s, and spent a blissful few hours mincing around in front of the floor length mirrors in all sorts of fabulous ensembles. Every five minutes, our man Stanley would knock on the door to bring more goodies or suggest other outfits. Heaven! Even though we didn’t end up buying her dress at Nordstrom, the experience was amazing and as always the staff was incredibly helpful. Here are some of the fun things we tried on:

One of the most gorgeous shoes I have ever tried on…the subtle tie-dye effect was so cool!


Robin Piccone makes very flattering bikinis. I still might have to take advantage of this one!

I couldn’t find the exact dress that was our favorite, but it was something like this – simple, a-line, classic, and gorgeous.


DC Bound March 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — laragale @ 12:11 pm

I won’t be posting for the next few days because we’re road-tripping with some of our favorite people to DC for a wedding (and some sightseeing and shopping of course). I’ll be back on Monday with lots of pictures and inspiration! Have a great weekend everyone 🙂


A Picnic Wedding March 5, 2009

This post is inspired by my fabulous friend Julie who recently got engaged, and who has already captured my imagination with her whirlwind planning (the wedding is scheduled for August, that’s barely 6 months away!). Julie and her fiance are committed to throwing a community centered, local inspired, eco and budget friendly wedding complete with picnic style reception in an outdoor amphitheatre. How cool is that? I’m sure I’ll coerce her to share some of her wedding details on the site, but until then here are some of the gorgeous images already floating through my mind. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!


dress  Seurat painting table setting wildflowers mason jar cocktails hemp invitations bridesmaid dresses wicker


If I were this bride… January 16, 2009

I don’t know what I would be more upset about, that my husband was pretending to make out with the maid of honor, or the eight pounds of fluffy tulle threatening to crush my head. 

 Check out this New York magazine  article for a slideshow of vintage wedding pictures, that range from political to just pretty 🙂


Website Templates from Offbeat Bride January 12, 2009

I just can’t say enough about Offbeat Bride. Besides being one of the original sites to inspire me to start my own blog, Ariel is one seriously cool chick who celebrates what modern nontraditional weddings are all about. So when I found out that she had teamed up with indie designers to offer wedding website templates that don’t include the usual sappy poems and animated hearts I was psyched! If Drew wasn’t a web designer I would be all over these. Check them out here, and if you like what you see, many of the designers offer matching invitations!