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Monday, June 22, 2009

faux wedding dress shopping...

Well, Wedding Week is over. I miss it. I enjoyed starting every day with a specific task: "We've got a live hit in 30 seconds... standby!"

What a trip. Live TV is fun and exciting. It's also stressful. I didn't understand how much work goes into a story or a live shot before this week. The photographer and reporter have to work in tandem to get a creative and interesting shot. They have to be in constant contact with the station who tells them when their live shot will be and for how long. And before any of this happens, hours of ideas and research went into lining up each day's locations, etc. I have a very, very deep appreciation for the news biz now--one I could never have understood as I sat in my media classes in college or even as I relentlessly pitched the assignment/news desk when I was an intern at a PR firm. It's a crazy world--one that I am so grateful to have been a part of (semi-vicariously) last week.

Now that I have the good stuff out of the way, I have to dog the Friday shoot. Last week on Wednesday I went to find my faux dress for Friday. The lady who helped me, Shanna, was a doll. In fact, I spent 20 minutes telling her about the many bad experiences I had had at other area bridal gown salons. She was tactful, kind, attentive and very patient. I tried on a few dresses until I found one different enough from my real dress and that felt good on and that made me feel dazzling. It was pretty with all the sequins, lace and beads. I was done for the day and my fears were calmed by Shanna that I wouldn't be huge looking compared to the other three models.
elegant & intricate sweet heart bodess
lace & beaded skirt & train
Fast forward to Friday. I arrived at the Bridal Mart. Shanna greeted me warmly and immediately begin helping me get into my gown. She laced up the dress, put my veil in and found a necklace for me to wear and it was go time. They had each girl come out one at a time. I was last. Much to my surprise, the other three girls were all very tiny. Oh well, I was ready to go and I was feeling pretty good. I came out last.

After a week of driving all over the county to each shoot, I felt especially proud when the reported asked for Lindsay, the bride who's been with them all week, to come out. She then turned to the Bridal Mart consultant, whose name I don't remember, and asked her to comment on the dress. The consultant mentioned something about plus sizes. As soon as the photographer began filming the back of my dress, my glowing smile turned into a stoic look of disappointment. Plus size? Really? What a jerky thing to say on live TV. In fact, she could have said anything else. How about commenting on how this dress flattered my shape. Or how about saying at the very beginning of the shoot that the Bridal Mart offers a wide variety of sizes from 2-22 and that viewers would be seeing a variety of styles that look good on many different body types. Why the heck is it even remotely appropriate to talk about plus sizes when referring to me, a real person (not a paid model!), especially since all the other girls were twigs. Well, news flash: I AM NOT PLUS SIZED!!! I am a healthy, curvy, normal body type. I am appalled at the unprofessionalism of that consultant and I am equally impressed by the out-cry of friends and family who called and emailed immediately afterward to say what I was already thinking: YOU ARE NOT PLUS SIZED! For the other tall and curvy viewers out there, how did that make you feel--especially if you are "plus sized"? I didn't help either that by Friday all my friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends, friends of the family were watching! Sooo embarrassing!

Needless to say, I was very disappointed by the way the week ended. It wasn't Darsha's fault. It wasn't Shanna's fault (who was so thankful for my participation, she gave me a 25% coupon for a veil, shoes and jewelry). A thoughtless and unprofessional comment put a damper on a really neat experience. I should get over it. But I guess having been a tall and muscular girl my whole life, I am not okay with a normal, healthy person being labeled incorrectly. It's okay to be big and its ok to be healthy. The consultant at the Bridal Mart perpetuated the stereotype that anything over a size 2 is a plus size. I'm not okay with that. Being tall, strong, healthy and curvy is cool! My fiance likes me curvy!!! So Darsha, there's an idea for your next story: the myth of super skinny being healthy or "plus sized" people be treated so differently than others!

Curvy hugs & squeezes,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

don't drop the salmon...

And finally, the food tasting! Although I was minimally involved in today's shoot, I did enjoy it (just not the ridiculous drive to Granite Bay!). I am amazed at the way Darsha, the reporter, is able to keep calm while interviewing, getting ready to ask a question, balancing multiple guests and flying Salmon... yup, flying salmon. About 95% of the way through the interview we all walked over to the buffet to talk about the food, only the salmon was missing. So another chef brought the salmon over to where we were standing. She handed the platter to the main chef, Troi. But Troi didn't know it was hot, nor did she have pot holders. Oops! There went the salmon... almost. She recovered. Caught the dish and was able to put it on the table just in time for the shoot to be over.

Here are some photos from today:
Prepping for the next live shot.
Green salad with edible flower petals. Yum!
Macadamia nut crusted salmon, baked (not a huge salmon fan personally, but it was pretty tasty). These are the surviving salmon!
These fingerling potatoes were really, really tasty. I could taste the caramelized garlic and rosemary. So delicious!
Dried pear with a mixture of cream cheese, blue cheese and walnuts and a lone pistachio nut. No going to lie--these were absolutely, ridiculously amazing. Plus, I got to try it on air and sneak in a mini shout-out to my wine-loving parents! Whoot!
Well, that's all for today. One more day of celebrity and then I'm back to being a commoner. Ha!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

weddings vs. marriage...

It's day three of being a local "celebrity!"

Thanks to those who emailed and called to say they've seen me on TV. Nice to know you're all out there watching, even if it is on DVR in the evenings! ;)

Today was "Party Rentals on the Cheap." It's a nice theory, but I'm my mother's daughter. Translation: I never like the cheapest things. Inevitably, I like the upper end stuff. The shoot was great though. It was fun pretending that I could have anything in the whole place... even if it was just from 8-9 a.m. this morning! It was a beautiful show room with tons of choices.

Take a peek at some quick snapshots:
main show room

preset tables to give customers ideas

flowers for the shoot
linen choices on the wall
my on-air wedding table
chocolate ranunculas & pink sweet peas
pretty bouquet with pinks and greens
interesting & unique flower option
the camera guy proving he could fold
news lady folding napkins
Of my vendors, the two vendors I like the most are the florist and my photographer. Because my flower lady is amazing, I know my flowers will be stunning. I can tell that Stefanie is super creative--a visionary really. Plus, she feels like a friend after just one meeting a few phone calls. Isn't that how it should feel? I think so!

The same goes with the photographer. I saw her work. She did a friend's wedding last fall. I inquired with my friend about the photographer, called her for an appointment and the minute I walked into her studio, I liked her. We talked for a half hour about life before ever discussing the wedding. It really felt like we were long lost friends. Plus, I love, love, love her work!!! I guess its their whole job to woe potential clients. I get that and maybe both the photographer and the florist are faking it. Maybe they think I am the worlds most annoying person ever. To be honest, I don't care. It's about this special day for Penguin (the fiance) and I. I hope they are sincerely friendly, but if I'm just another bride to them, they certainly are not just two ordinary people to me. They are an integral part of the beginning of our dreams coming true. And that, my dear friends, matters.

Having said that however, wedding industry people like brides to think that the little details make or break your wedding. That isn't so. I'm talking specifically about party rentals, food, alcohol, favors and invitations, the little things that add up in a big way. And I think that's why I've busted my tail to be a part of this shoot.  I have to work late all week and take some vacation, of which I have little and am trying to save for the wedding and honeymoon to make up the time. This is an important story to tell. "Weddings on the Cheap" is particularly timely, but true even when the economy isn't bad. It's just the first day of your marriage.

The mother of my maid-of-honor emailed me shortly after our engagement to congratulate us. She also reminded us that this day is just one day and truly its all about the marriage and the life you're creating together, not only the wedding. I think alot of people miss this point and are let down when the big day is over. Industry people want your money. They want you to stretch and spend to create this most wonderful day ever.... but not for you, for them, for their commission, their benefit. Weddings are about the couple, their love and the friends and family who support them. Weddings should reflect the couple and if you take a step back and remember that its the first day of the REST of you marriage, you get what you need most of all: PERSPECTIVE.

Money can't buy a fiance who tells me I am beautiful EVERY morning. 

Money can't buy a fiance who tells me he loves me EVERY time we talk. 

Money can't buy a finance who knows my many weaknesses and embraces the things all the men before him tried to change or walked away from. 

Money can't buy a fiance who makes me laugh, really hard and often. 

And money can't buy a fiance who's whole goal in life is to make me happy and provide for us. 

Penguin is perfect for me... even when we're arguing about something stupid. He's still perfect for me! That is why, dear friends, our humble wedding will be reflect us. Sorry if you're expecting lavish linens, chair covers and ties, elaborate party favors and deluxe invites. Deal with it.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

dude, am I famous yet...?

I've been the "bride" in a week long feature on a local news station for a "Weddings on the Cheap" series they're doing every day on their 8:00 a.m. live show.

So far, so good.

I was touched yesterday when I called my mom, who is out of town for work, and she said she heard from my Dad that the make-up shoot went great. 

WAIT! Did I hear that correctly? My dad watched it without any one reminding him, on his own at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday? I think I have the cutest father EVER! I immediately hung up with my mom and called my Dad. We spent 40 minutes talking about the shoot, the in and outs, the ups and downs... being a instant local celeb is mind blowing. Ha! Hardly!

My Dad's best friend, who lives 45 minutes away, randomly spotted me while channel flipping. I'm expecting questions about my rise to fame and autographs any minute! ;)

Today was hair! Hair!!! Apparently, I have great hair.  And yesterday the make-up girl said I was pretty and had nice skin... heck, in this fickle world, you gotta take your compliments where you can get um... so thanks! The lady who did my hair in the hair segment is sooo delightful. Her name in Hannah. By the end of the segment I got the 411 on her also half Vietnamese man. I'm crossing my fingers that Hannah will soon be engaged and able to take part in the stress of wedding planning, the ridiculous fighting over music and venues and the constant barrage of decisions! Oh... weddings are glorious... for everyone but the bride! 

I did decide on how I'd like my hair to be, thanks to Hannah. Hannah did a cute lil' do that will look perfectly romantic without making my round little face look rounder. Also, the amazing salon owner where Hannah works and where we shot today, so graciously gave the news reporter and myself a gift certificate for a free facial, a full sized hair product from her favorite line and lots of samples.

Tomorrow is picking the perfect party rentals. Should be fun! The reporter, who has worked tirelessly to make all of these great days possible, is the most bubbly, warmhearted, fun and perky person. You'd guess that most news people were either stiff, snobby and boring or complete ding bats. This little ball o' fire couldn't be further from both stereotypes. She is wonderful! She gives everyone a hug when she arrives and leaves with a bigger hug and a thank you. She's a doll!!!

So, that's all for now. Wish me luck with the week's remaining festivities!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wedding count down...

123 days or
4 months, 1 day or
17 weeks or
2952 hours or
177,120 minutes
or 10,627,200 seconds until our wedding!

Sooooo excited!


bridal week: weddings on the cheap...

"The best things in life aren't things." -Art Buchwald

"Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it." -Lin Yutang

"The best is yet to be." -Robert Browning
I was asked to be the "bride" in a week long "Bridal Week on the Cheap" for a local news station. Each day they'll be featuring a new aspect of planning your wedding with tips for the budget conscious bride to do-it-herself. Here's the schedule:

Monday: Bridal Make-Up

Tuesday: Bridal Hair & Tips for Do-It-Yourself Bridesmaid Hair

Wednesday: Wedding Planning 101

Thursday: Wedding Food

Friday: Bachette Parties on the Cheap

Considering the year my fiance and I have had, this is quite a treat for me! I am sooo excited to be the "bride" and soak up all the extra tips and pampering that I can. I am delighted to be a part of it. 

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