Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Wedding Wednesday-The Dress


What a fitting day for a Wedding Wednesday post!  What to wear for your wedding dress at a Halloween wedding???  Many people would assume you should wear black, or a costume. And both of those are great ideas! But let me tell you, there is no market out there for Halloween wedding dresses...and I looked...and looked...and looked! Of course, I could have made my wedding dress...being that I am a sewasaurus rex. However, I did not want that kind of pressure on myself since I was already DIYing so much of the wedding. I will show you some of the ones I found when I was looking and what I wore, and then you all can chime in in the comments if you find other great ones!

First off, for my wedding, the plan was to do a traditional wedding with Halloween accents. It may sound silly, but the idea was to make it just like a regular wedding...and then add a spooky twist. Therefore, we were still planning on dressing up as bride and groom. Those were our costumes...since all our guests were in costume as well.
spiderweb dress

This was my original choice of dress...but I had it custom made in white, added cap sleeves, and asked for the spiderweb beading to continue all the way to the bottom of the dress.  I ordered the first week of May with my custom measurements and paid. However, these people are very bad at responding. And then my dress was never arriving. Next thing you know, it is the first week of October (my wedding was the 29th) and no dress still. My coordinators found websites showing numerous customers who ordered from this site and never received their dress, etc. It was looking bad. Yikes!
DO NOT ORDER FROM GOTHIQUE BRIDAL BOUTIQUE IN THE UK!!! (I just looked on the website and it now says it can take up to 25 weeks for custom orders--when I ordered last year it said 14 weeks...which was well within my time limit--furthermore both myself and my coordinators sent numerous emails and made many phone calls to try and find out what was going on...with no response!)

Needless to say, we were all panicking. I found this rental company called One Night Affair, and went there to see if I could find a dress for near immediate rental. Luckily I found one that was gorgeous! And the beauty of renting the dress was that I could never have afforded such a gorgeous dress as that. I think the retail on the gown I ended up wearing was close to $7,000. I picked out the dress and had the alterations decided and ready to go before I left knowing I would pick it up two days before the wedding.

custom spiderweb dress
The next day, (October 14th!!) of course the gothique bridal boutique dress arrived. The incessant phone calls and emails must have finally had some effect. But it was too late, I had already rented the other one...and to be fair, it was gorgeous, I loved it, and I made the right decision. However, if I had not had any problems with the dress delivery or vendor, I would have been ecstatic at how well the spiderweb dress fit me and can see for yourself to the right.

You cannot see the spiderweb detailing but it does go all the way to the ground as my custom order specified. And the dress fits for the most part...I probably would have needed a hem. Regardless, it is not the dress I wore. What am I going to do with the dress to the right??

The dress I did wear was like Cinderella fairy tale princess.
dress I actually wore--rental

closeup of beaded bodice and skirt

hanger shot
I love love loved my dress!!! However, I must be honest. When I saw Olivia Wilde in this dress, I thought it would have been perfect for my wedding.

It is the black version of my actual wedding dress!!!!!!  It is EXACTLY like it...beading all the way down. How awesome would that dress have been? It's exactly the one I wore...but black...incredible.

Ok enough about my story and my dress...what about inspiration for yourself??

How amazing would this parasol be as an accessory?

This is very fun!
wow..super gothic...very Helena Bonham Carter

This is on picture for source

This would be so pretty! Click for source
Another gothic idea

What other ideas do you all have??? Did you have a Halloween wedding dress?? Can we see a picture?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Wedding Wednesday-Envelopes and Stamps

I literally had every tiny detail planned out for my wedding. All the way down to stamps...and even putting skeleton faces on the portraits and pictures in the ballroom of the reception since I did not like them---but I am getting ahead of myself. One detail I used was envelopes and stamps. The ones I am covering here today were strictly for my Save the Dates. I used completely different items for my invitations for the wedding and for the shower invitations. Everything had to fit the theme of the event.

These are the envelopes I picked out for the Save the Dates--also from Vistaprint.

I also printed the addresses on them using my computer and printer and the envelopes and labels function in Microsoft Word. To maintain continuity, I did the name of the couple or person in Blood of Dracula again, and then address in Decadenta Frax again.

The stamps we used for the Save the Date were these adorable ones we found on Zazzle.
Lastly, I sealed the envelopes with these amazing Martha Stewart Halloween stickers. Just in case the Save the Date, envelope, and stamp wasn't enough to get our point across :)

They were three dimensional stickers with all sorts of fun designs that really added the finishing touch. I do want to add a word of caution though...make sure you check on the weight AND WIDTH of what you are sending before buying your stamps. Luckily we did that ahead of time so we were okay. But what we did not do was make sure everything was hand cancelled and things got smooshed in the mail. Make sure to have everything hand cancelled. Especially since we had a three dimensional sticker. Hand cancelled just means it does not go through the machine so things do not get bent out of shape. You should definitely do that for your wedding invitation too...of course we didn't and some of ours ended up to people in pieces...but I am getting ahead of myself aren't I?

There are many other Halloween themed stamps on Zazzle. A super cute one for a wedding might be this one:

If only that one was available...I might have incorporated it in as well.
And the great thing about that website is, you can get almost everything coordinated. From envelopes, to invitations, to stamps. Take a minute to browse.

Do you think these were the right pieces to go with the Save the Date from my previous Wedding Wednesday post?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Wedding Wednesday-Save the Date

Today we start with the Save the Date!  A save the date is important for a Halloween wedding, especially if you are doing it the weekend of Halloween, because others might schedule Halloween parties. So getting out the save the date a good five months in advance is a must! I think we just barely missed the 5 months mark but that is because we wanted to use a picture from our engagement photo session on it and of course I did not schedule the photo session enough in advance!

We had an idea of what we wanted for our save the date and told the photographer and we tried a bunch of pictures at our engagement session to nail down what we wanted. As I stated in my engagement photos post, it is all trial and error. Unfortunately what we had tried and had as our idea, did not translate for us in the photos. It was just not what we were looking for.

These are the first try....does not fit our theme
This is part of what helped us realize that we like smiling...

Luckily, we had the worlds greatest photographers and when she heard this, she agreed to do another session, completely free, to get that exact picture and look we wanted. And when we showed up she had tons of new ideas and ways to do the pose so we could be sure to find exactly the photo we wanted. And you know what? It worked! We found it and our save the date could not have been more awesome!

This is it!
This finally hit the nail on the head! This fit our Halloween. This was campy, old horror movie style. And it worked perfectly for what we wanted. The final save the date looked like this!

You can see the addition of fangs on this one.....and yes we
did require people to wear costumes...more on that to come

We had these printed onto magnets using Vistaprint. The fonts we used were Blood of Dracula (save the date), Grapefruit (formal invitation to follow [that link will lead you to what the font looks like, but I had it in my Microsoft came with it]), and Decadenta Frax (everything else). By making it ourselves, we were able to include a skull (gotta have skulls!) and the cutest little heart spider...because I love hearts and sparkles and things.

We also had an accompaniment to the save the date printed on cardstock to give all the major details, like hotels, events, etc since the magnet had limited space. If you want to see that, send me a private message. Most of the info is not something that should probably be posted on the internet but if you would like the general idea of the theme and how I put it together, I would be happy to send it out personally.

What do you think of the save the date? Did it capture our message?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Wedding Wednesday-Venue

Venue for a Halloween wedding can be so many different things. The idea is to think about the venue that will most fit the way you are interpreting the Halloween theme. For us that meant the Queen Mary. It is haunted, the boat has all the original wood paneling and ambiance, plus Dark Harbor!

The year before our wedding, I had gone to the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor and it was awesome!  It is the Queen Mary's version of Haunted Halloween mazes and such. A lot of theme parks do special Halloween haunted nights around Halloween time and the Queen Mary definitely participates. It is not as big as theme parks, but the mazes are better...I think so anyway. And it is not as crowded. Anyway, the prior year I had discovered this amazing photobooth type guy that I had to have for our wedding. The first thing I did when we decided it would be a Halloween wedding was to call that guy and make sure he was available since I knew he would also be doing the Dark Harbor again. Second, I booked the Queen Mary. I know that seems backwards but that is how great this guy's services were. And that's all I am saying about it for will have to wait and see!

We were lucky to get scheduled in the Queen Mary. We started talking about the wedding end of April but officially got engaged in May. We were soooooo lucky that they had a place left on the last Saturday of Halloween on such a prime venue as the Queen Mary. (Yes we planned and made this happen fairly quickly---What can I say? When you know, you know!) They have three ballrooms and the only ballroom they had left (Verandah) was for about 100 people which was exactly what our estimate was. It was meant to be!

But you are not here to just listen to my venue. Other great ideas I have seen are weddings in cemeteries. A lot of large cemeteries actually have weddings and areas. There have been plenty of weddings in haunted mansions. I would have loved to do something like the Winchester Mystery House (but I no longer live in Northern California).  In fact, my mother tried to get the Winchester Mystery House for my Bat Mitzvah (October 28, 1995) since it was around Halloween and we all know my fun tendencies but it was booked on the Halloween weekend dates 5 years in advance! Yikes!

What else?  I'm sure there are other haunted ships to use. What about theme parks? I know you can get married at some, I wonder if some will let you get married there during their haunted night festivities?  And then there is the classic, a backyard or outside. There are so many great ways to decorate backyards and outside for Halloween themed weddings.

Any other ideas?  Please comment your genius thoughts!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Wedding Wednesday-Engagement Photos

Today I am starting a new series called Wedding Wednesday!  As my readers might know, I had a Halloween themed wedding on October 29, 2011. A LOT  of it was DIY. I remember how hard it was to find good resources on ideas for Halloween weddings so in response to a few emails, I thought I would do a series where I highlight some of what was done. I will attempt to go in order...from the beginning to the end.

First up we have engagement photos. These are photos you might use for your wedding website, save the date, wedding decorations, around the house, etc. But to be sure, you will use them at least at some point for your wedding. So it is important to set the tone from the very beginning. Our tone was---Halloween! But we were doing fun, campy Halloween...not evil scary. So we did our engagement photos in a graveyard but with lots of smiles and fun. Here are some of them to give you an idea.

It is a good idea to ask your photographer to add some cool filters when they are fixing the photos. You can see some filters in use in these photos.

My husband and I were both gymnasts...we met 10 years ago coaching gymnastics! I was in heels so I couldn't do the same thing as him...I'm amazed my heels didn't stick in the grass

Make sure you check ahead of time for permits or requirements for photographing in a cemetery.  We found that one cemetery we wanted in Redondo Beach wanted $1400 for even just a one hour session! Also Hollywood Cemetery wanted $400 for an hour. Just make sure you check into those things so you are not breaking any rules.

The good thing about having an engagement session is learning about what pictures you like best. We took all kinds of pictures. But when we got the proofs, we could see that serious style pictures were not for us. We preferred the ones where we were smiling and we were able to translate that to optimize our wedding pictures.

I love how cool this photo turned out

same heels I wore to Promaballoona!

This is my favorite photo of all of them and my favorite makes us kind of look like ghosts!

Lastly, I want you to know who my amazing photographers were. We used Karen Leah Photography. We researched a lot of blogs and styles before deciding on them. And they were fantastic! Truly amazing...wait until I show you some of the wedding photos. We HIGHLY recommend them.

You can check out a sneak peek of things to come by looking at her blog post of our wedding.

I hope this helps get the ball rolling with some inspiration.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Heart 'n Bones Renfrew

Wow this post is a long time in the making. You can see the first glimpse of my Renfrew way back here! Yikes! I still wear it regularly. I love the fabric and the idea of a simple t-shirt. However, the shape doesn't curve quite right with my measurements, and it is not long enough. I have a long torso. I plan to improve this the next time around. 

A few years ago I made a t-shirt (unblogged) from this Connie Crawford pattern here, B5215. (I should blog it because these patterns get such a bad rap and I had a wonderful experience with it)  I made the extra small and it fit my curves and everything wonderfully! And it was the right length! However it only has the scoop neck option.

For my next Renfrew, I will use the bodice from B5215 for the bodice of the Renfrew and then use all the other options the Renfrew has to offer. That will give me the right length and shape and then the options for the other necklines and sleeves. I think it will be the perfect combination!

For my Renfrew, I used this fabric from Mood here.
Fabric closeup of cute hearts and bones!

I discovered this fabric from this patternreview. Now the eagle eyed among you would realize that this review is from none other than my friend Nhi! However, I never met Nhi until the garment district shopping trip mentioned above and in the blog post written here. I showed up to shop in my Renfrew and Nhi exclaimed she had the fabric! I didn't realize that it was her review that had shown me the fabric and led to me buying it! What a small world! Crazy coincidence! 

The second I saw this fabric in her review, I had to have it. Those of you who follow my blog know my love of Halloween and skulls and then also hearts and stars. This fabric was a natural! I had to get it!  I still have plenty left...I used under a yard on my Renfrew since I cut the bands in a black matte jersey from Joann's. I will definitely be using more!

After attaching the bands according to the instructions, I topstitched using the coverstitch portion of my Babylock Evolve serger to hold the band seam allowances down. 

Overall, this was a simple and easy make that I made entirely on my serger. (Except for the one part of the v-neck band that had to be stitched by sewing machine.)  I cannot wait to make a cowl collared one for the cooler weather that is coming!
In this closeup you can see how the curves don't quite match the
curviness of my waist to my hips and that as a result it rides up

Not that you need any encouragement, since this shirt has been made by nearly every sewing blogger, but just in case you haven't made it yet...go for it!

My pattern review can be seen here.