9 Oct, 2010 | by Kathleen Barbosa
The sad reality is that no matter how much a girl loves her wedding dress, chances are she’s going to need to tweak it significantly in order to make it “perfect.” Unless you’re lucky enough to have a gown custom crafted to your exact measurements, you’re more likely than not going to need a seamstress to make it fit your particular specifications. When ordering a bridal gown, the general rule of thumb is that it’s always easier to take the dress in than to let it out, so you should always consult the designer’s size chart, order the size that will accommodate your largest part (in my case, my hips; for another girl, it might be her bust, etc.), and always trust your consultant when she implores you not to order your dress two sizes smaller than what’s advisable because you think you’re going to drop twenty pounds before your wedding. No, you won’t. In any case, for many women, shopping for a wedding dress can be a migraine-inducing ordeal. The reason is simple: Most gown samples are a bridal size 10, which is a street size 6. This can be a rather draconian reality for the average American woman, who measures 5’4″ and wears a street size 14. Some bridal salons carry plus-size sample sizes, but many do not. It also means that the average-size woman can’t find a gown at most sample sales. It’s a rather unfriendly process. For someone short and scrawny like me, however, who takes a 0 in tops and usually a 2, sometimes a 4, in bottoms, it meant ordering my dress in a bridal size 8 (street size 4) to ensure that it would fit my widest part, my hips. Well, that resulted in my gown being enormous on me, especially on the bodice, so I was a little annoyed to know that I would have to shell out $200 – $300 on alterations in order to tighten the dress at its side seams. Most bridal salons include some basic alterations — the hemline and bustle — in the cost of the dress; for the side seams, however, you’re on your own. In any case, I think that when it comes to something as important as your wedding gown, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all, it has to be perfect, and one just has to bite the bullet, no matter how much of a penny-pinching psycho you’ve morphed into after two years of planning a wedding.
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20 Aug, 2010 | by Kathleen Barbosa
I’ve written a few times about my wedding gown, which I love. Without giving too much away, it’s a dramatic trumpet gown of cream Duchess satin by Alvina Valenta. Embellished with crystal appliques and classic in its details and silhouette, my wedding dress helped inspire my current vintage obsession. I bought it last year a few months after becoming engaged and am as excited about it today as I was when it first arrived at Bridal Trousseau last Spring. With that said, however, bridal fashion is really at its zenith right now, with designers like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier raising bridal couture to stratospheric heights of decadence and artistry, and there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of dresses I admire and could wear just as easily, and enthusiastically, as the one I chose. For example, there’s the subject of this post. I ran across this gown a few days ago, a garment of such beaded fabulousness that I just had to share it with everyone. No, this isn’t actually related to my own wedding, and, yes, it’s a bit of a detour, but this site has evolved into a forum for me to share my general musings on all things wedding-related and to indulge my silly fantasy of becoming an event/wedding coordinator (you know, just in case my law degree really does fail to pay dividends in the future). In that spirit, I’ve decided to devote this post to the one dress I’ve seen in the past year that has given me a mild case of “dress envy.” It’s from Lazaro’s 2010 collection, and it’s utterly glamorous. Feast thine eyes:
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27 Jul, 2010 | by Kathleen Barbosa
When Rich and I first got engaged in Vernazza — after I stopped choking and got over my panic attack about planning a wedding and drafting the dreaded “guest list,” that is — I thought to myself, “Hmm, finding an officiant might be a bit of a challenge.” You see, I don’t associate myself with any kind of organized religion and was never even baptized as a child, whereas Rich is Roman Catholic. I knew that having a religious ceremony would be difficult, but I’ve also known since I was an undergraduate that I wanted to be married at Harkness Chapel. Connecticut College’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life requires that all wedding ceremonies held at the chapel be religious ceremonies, so I didn’t really have a choice. Also, I thought it would be nice to keep things as traditional as possible when it came to the ceremony itsel, which I woud prefer to have a sense of gravity in proportion to the seriousness of the commitment involved. Having a justice of the peace seemed to me a bit sterile. After searching for over a year for an option that both the College and I would find acceptable, Laurie McGrath of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life suggested that I get in touch with Rev. Carolyn Patierno.
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14 Feb, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
First of all, I’ll start off by disclosing that we absolutely LOVE our reception venue. It’s grand, makes a dramatic initial impression and offers an almost overstimulating array of architectural and visual details. To be totally honest, however, I was rather determined at first to dislike it. Rich and I had gone to another potential reception site in Waterford a couple of weeks earlier with his mother and father, a site that I absolutely had my heart set on from the moment we first decided to have a wedding. It fit the main criteria in terms of what I was looking for in a reception venue: It was a beautiful, historic mansion close to the water, a short drive from the ceremony site at Connecticut College, photographed well, had a bride’s suite and offered privacy in the sense that it was a single-event rental (I was and am vigorously opposed to going to any type of “wedding mill” where my wedding would be one of several events occuring simultaneously). While I was enraptured with the place and Rich seemed receptive to it, Maria and John, his parents, were decidedly underwhelmed. Rich also had concerns because it was only a seven-hour rental (giving us only a five-hour reception) and had an exclusivity clause relating to caterers. To my consternation, he suggested that we keep looking before committing. continue reading »
7 Feb, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
The first actual decision I made regarding the wedding (after saying yes in Vernazza and snatching up the ring, that is) was that I wanted our ceremony to take place at Harkness Chapel in New London, CT. It’s a quaint building and small enough to seem intimate, seating only up to four hundred people. More importantly, it’s located on the campus of my undergraduate alma mater, Connecticut College. My undergraduate college days were four of the best years of my life, where I focused on studying my life’s passion – Latin and Ancient Greek and the literature, archaeology and philosophy of classical antiquity — and minoring in Italian in order to prepare myself for my semester abroad in Rome. It was during my undergraduate experience that I fell in love with Italy, which, as things go full circle, was eventually where I ended up getting engaged! In any case, the chapel is not only representative of a very happy and important part of my life, it also fits with the aesthetic Rich and I have chosen for our wedding. Designed by the well-known architect James Gamble Rogers, it is a granite and sandstone edifice perched on the most scenic part of campus, with an excellent view of Long Island Sound from the front door. Since Rich is Catholic and I am not, we anticipate having a Christian but Protestant ceremony officiated by the College Chaplain. So far, however, we have reserved the chapel for November 6, 2010, though we’re still to meet with the Chaplain and the organist, Professor Anthony, about the additional details. More on that to come later!