Monthly Archives: July 2009

Ixnay on the Garter Toss

Travis and I have reached a decision about our wedding reception that bucks tradition. We will not have a garter or bouquet toss.

Garter toss - I think Ill pass

Garter toss - I think I'll pass

I’ve never been a fan of the garter toss mostly because I think it is in bad taste. The sweaty, drunk groom clamors underneath the wedding gown while the DJ plays nasty, raunchy music. Then he struggles out from under the dress and throws the garter to a group of waiting bachelors who treat the garter like a prize piece of the bride. No thanks.

Maybe it is the Puritan in me or the feminist, but I have no interest in having a piece of my lingerie thrown to a mob of young bachelors.

On the opposite side, I’ve never had a problem with the bouquet toss, but it seems out of balance to do one and not the other.

I know we aren’t the only ones not to do a garter toss. Our friends Joe and Carrie got married a few weeks ago and Joe flat out refused to do the garter toss. Our friends Rachel and Caleb didn’t do one either.

I was a little curious as to why the garter toss even exists so I did a little research. Here’s what has to say:

“Tossing the wedding garter is an old tradition.  It is said that in the days of old the bride and groom had to consummate their marriage.  But in order for it to be proven it was common tradition to have people like family and friends come into the room with the couple to witness it.  The “witnesses” would obtain the garter as “proof” of the consummation.   Also having any article of the under garments was considered to be good luck so sometimes things would get out of hand in the newly wed’s bedroom as crazed onlookers snatched at clothing to get for good luck.  This was not appreciated much by the bride nor many grooms, hence the groom started tossing the garter out so that no one would need to obtain it themselves.

Because of modesty, this tradition has been modified and moved from the bedroom to the reception.   Now today we have the traditional garter toss, which is meant to bring good luck to the man who catches it.  He is said to be the next one to marry.  In some cultures the men stand and wait for the garter to be tossed.  Other cultures they actually compete for it.  The men may compete for the garter in a foot race or by horse (this is a medieval practice).  At least it is better than having the men chase the bride and put her upside down to get the garter off… This is what used to happen!  In yet other places, they even auction the garter off.  As strange as these twists on the wedding garter tradition may sound they are all just traditions.  Take’ em or leave’ em.”

Gross! Leave them, thanks.

I have to say that as a wedding guest I’ve never really enjoyed either of these events. Didn’t enjoy the garter toss for the aforementioned reasons. The bouquet toss was always a reminder of how painfully single I was and I never enjoyed being called out on the dance floor.

I found some great ideas about alternatives to the garter toss at Wedding Bee (love that site BTW). Perhaps, we will use one of these ideas. Anyone have some recommendations or ideas?

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Cindy, my wedding planner, asked me to put together my wedding likes and dislikes. Since I’m a visual person this was the result of the likes challenge:


Of course, no one does Inspiration Boards quite like Style Me Pretty.

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The Quest for the Dress

In my mind I had built up buying my wedding gown as an event that would last for weeks. Something that I would stress over, going from shop to shop, dragging my girlfriends and bridesmaids along with me. In reality, I knew the dress I wanted the first time I saw it. For CS, I visited the dress three times!

A couple of weeks ago I finally felt like it was time to start dress shopping. I’m down seven pounds, about half the weight I had wanted to lose before dress shopping, but to be completely honest I’m a little over punishing myself for every pound I don’t get off. I’m all about goal setting, but it finally struck me that I was gauging how the dress shopping process would go based on how many pounds I had dropped. I am the type of person that is overly hard on myself. I always have been. It’s not my best trait, but it’s a part of me. I guess the struggle comes from wanting to be successful and perfect. Overachiever? Party of one.

So a month or so ago I made the appointment at Alfred Angelo and headed down to the store with my lovely bridesmaids Lexie and Sarah. The dress that I fell in love with back in January had been moved to one of the models at the front of the store and I quickly let the sales girls know that it was the dress I had been stalking for 6 months.

My “bridal consultant” gave me a slip and a strapless bra and then brought in piles of dresses. I’m a lucky girl because the first dress I tried on was the one. I’ve been in love with it and secretly wishing that it would be the right dress for months now. And it was. I’m not going to give any more details about the dress because my betrothed reads this blog, but if you’re interested email me and I will send you a photo.

So even though I knew that dress was the one, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to try on wedding dresses. When was I going to have this chance again?

Here’s a quick glimmer of the dresses that I tried on.

**Disclaimer – Many of these dresses were way too small and thus not attractive. Come on bridal industry lets think about getting some dresses that are in a wider variety of sizes. Also, apparently, I didn’t think washing my hair, putting in my contacts or applying an appropriate amount of makeup was important that day. Ooops!

dress1 dress2
dress3 dress4
dress5 dress6
dress7 dress8

Of course, I am still hoping to drop more pounds before the wedding, and I was a little apprehensive about buying the gown until the bridal salespeople told me that the gowns can be taken down three sizes! Woo-hoo!

Overall, the experience at Alfred Angelo was great. I got a deal on my dress and got suckered into buying the veil and slip, but they gave me a 15% discount and $300 off my dress. I’m a sucker for sales.

Here’s me and the girls after I signed the dotted line:

At Alfred Angelo after purchasing my wedding dress

At Alfred Angelo after purchasing my wedding dress (FYI - we didn't plan the pink coordination)

The way it works at Alfred Angelo is you put half down when you order and pay the other half when the dress arrives. My dress is supposed to be in next month and I can’t wait to try on a dress that is actually in my size (not too small or too big like the sample dresses).

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J. Crew Bridesmaid Dresses

This is what I had in mind when thinking of bridesmaid’s dresses:

Affordable, Comfortable, and Classic

I don’t want my girlfriends to buy a dress that they hate, wear it once and be uncomfortable on a day when I want them to celebrate and have a great time.

Soooo….my thought process is this: My bridesmaids choose their own dress from a selection of styles and colors. My hope is that they get a dress that they like (or almost like) and that they will, shall I say it?

Wear again.

Yeah, I went there.

I searched through some bridal magazines, but nothing was hitting the spot. I couldn’t find any dresses that I really liked. So when bridesmaid Lexie offered to do some research into dresses I was really excited. And she nailed it. She found exactly what I had in mind and it happened to be in the arms of J. Crew.

What I have in mind for bridesmaid dresses

What I have in mind for bridesmaid dresses

The Cotton Cady dresses are exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes to destination wedding bridesmaid dresses. Classic, cool, and something that will travel well. Unfortch, the current price is not what I had in mind. $225 bucks!

Don’t go breaking my heart J. Crew! I love these dresses so much, but I will absolutely not ask my friends to pay $225. Last week, I got really excited when I found them on sale for $99 bucks. I quickly sent an email out to the girls asking them to take a look. Then Heather found that the only dress actually on sale was the bright yellow one. Major bummer.

Now, I’m holding onto the hope that J. Crew will have some end of summer sale. Does anyone know of anywhere that I could find J. Crew knock-offs? How can they be the only company offering cotton bridesmaid dresses? You would think one of the major chains would get on the band wagon and figure out that there is a market for girls who are not fans of the satin jungle known as David’s Bridal.

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As with any good blog post, I think we should begin with a quote from Fergie (yes, as in Fergaliscious Fergie):

Now my destiny can begin
Though we will have our differences
Something strange and new is happening
Now my life doesn’t seem so bad
It’s the best that I’ve ever had
Give my love to him finally

No, this isn’t going to be a sappy post about how much I love Travis. Instead, it’s about this journey of weight loss that I have been on and how my breakthrough moment hasn’t come from dropping 50 pounds, but from coming to the realization that I might be ok just the way I am. Sure, my desire to be my senior year in high school size has not gone away, but I’m tired of this battle.

I am exhausted from agonizing over every bite I take. I’m tired of beating myself up if I don’t work out like mad.

I guess the breakthrough came a week or so ago after I saw my nutritionist. I had my metabolism tested and it turns out that I had not been eating enough. Apparently, on weight watchers I had been only getting about 1,500 calories a day and my metabolic test came back saying that I needed to eat about 2,500 calories a day to lose weight. This really blew my mind. I’ve had this testing done before and it always comes back high, but I’d always blown that off to the thyroid meds being off.

So I meet with Heidi (who is amazing BTW) and we talk about how I am going to start eating more to lose weight. I know what you are thinking – Boo-hoo, you have to eat more. How horrible.

Let me tell you something – it is harder than you might think.

But that is a different topic for another time. This isn’t about food. It is about self-realization.

Heidi and I are talking about health and fitness and she says to me, “I don’t think you need to lose weight. You are curvy and beautiful and I can see from the size of your wrist that God didn’t intend for you to be a small woman.”

I immediately went into some sort of diatribe where I tried convincing her that I do need to lose weight. Blah, blah, blah.

You know how I love Britney.

You know how I love Britney.

After I left her office the conversation stuck with me. All the years when I have told myself that I need to lose weight and have heard the constant drone of my family, the ex-boyfriend, a shitty doctor who told me to eat more yogurt, the thought never crossed my mind to call bullshit on these people.  I never challenged the idea – just put it into my mind that this was what is expected of me.

So now I sit at a crossroads, a place I’ve never been before. The wonderful world of health and fitness that isn’t related to the world of being_good_enough. What a wonderful place I find myself in at the ripe old age of 26.

The plan going forward is this: try and eat the 2,500 calories a day, work out because it is good for me and not because I feel forced to, and get to a weight where I am comfortable and happy and not a place where others think I should be. Sounds simple right?

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