Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I have chosen my Wedding Dress
On Saturday, after visiting Butterflies and Pronuptia I made a quick return visit to Berketex on Frederick Street with my Mum, my sister Karen, Kirsteen and Jenny and tried on my favourite dress one more time.
I think it is important to try on a dress a few times before you decide to buy it. This was my fourth time trying on this dress and as soon as I put it on I knew that this was definitely my favourite out of the 30 or so dresses that I have tried on so far. When I stepped out into the shop with it on everyone thought it was lovely and (I think) everyone agreed it was the nicest dress.
I'm not going to describe it, as I want to make sure that it is a surprise for Stuart, but I will say that loved the material of the dress, the flattering cut, the detail on the dress and the way it looked when I added all the accesories such as the veil and tiara.
I was originally planning to wait a month or so before getting fitted for the dress - to allow me to lose a few pounds, but for two reasons I decided to get the dress on the day. One reason was that there was an offer on for that week only. If you bought a dress over £800 you could choose a tiara or a veil up to the value of £100 for free. The other reason is that designers can discontinue dresses whenever they like with no warning, so there is always the risk of not being able to order your favourite dress after all.
The dress cost £949, which was slightly over my budget of £900, but getting a free tiara or veil kind of cancelled that out.
Annoyingly Berketex do not take credit cards and they need a 50% deposit to secure the dress. They did realise that not everyone can instantly write a check for £500 or so, so a £100 cash deposit secured the dress as long as I followed it up with a check in the post. I am trying to put as much of the wedding things as possible on my credit card, so I can take advantage of the free airmiles and hopefully get us a free flight or two out of all the wedding purchases. Berketex either take a 50% deposit when ordering the dress then the other 50% when it arrives, or they have an interest free payment plan.
Once you have ordered the dress it comes in around 6 weeks before your wedding and you get a fitting at that point so they can take the dress in if necessary. I'll talk a bit about the joys of getting measured in my next post.
For now, I am pretty happy though - I have booked the wedding venue, the band, the photographer, the videographer, flights for the honeymoon and now the wedding dress. I also managed to get a bargain half price pair of shoes while buying my dress - even better :-)
Labels: Wedding Dresses
Friday, February 23, 2007
Pronuptia and Butterflies, Edinburgh
For the third Saturday in a row I had another day of wedding dress shopping. Although I am enjoying trying on all these lovely dresses, I hoped that this would be the last day of trailing round the bridal salons in Edinburgh :-)
First stop was Pronuptia, 13 Antigua St, Edinburgh. This bridal salon is near to the top of Leith Walk and is a brand new salon. Outside it looks like it is going to be a really small shop, but it's a bit of a tardis and opens out into quite a large shop inside. The one difference between this shop and the others was that all the dresses were in see-through plastic dress holder/bags. The good thing about this was that the dresses were very clean and new looking, but the bad thing was that it was very difficult to choose dresses to try on because you had to take them out the bag to really see them properly. I tried on a red dress in this shop for the first time, which was lovely, but not what I want to wear for my wedding. After trying on 5 dresses I found one that I really liked, but it wasn't as nice as the one I have my eye on in Berketex. The assistant that helped me only worked there on a Saturday, but she was very nice and helpful. We also tried on a selection of bridesmaid dresses in this shop and they had a good selection in lots of colours and styles for around the £200 mark. Overall a good shops, with a decent selection of wedding dresses for reasonable prices, but I didn't find my dream dress.
Next we went to Butterflies which is at 17 West Port, just near to the Grassmarket. This shop was very small but had a large selection of dresses, including lots of bridesmaid dresses and party/prom style dresses. Although I had an appointment, the shop was packed full of people. I suspect that you only need an appointment for bridalwear. I felt very rushed in this shop compared to the others. When a dress didn't fit me, the assistant didn't bother doing it up completely, she would just hold the back of the dress. In other shops the assistants all took time to put in a panel and use pins so that you could see the dress properly. There also wasn't a lot of space to wander about in the shop so it was harder to get a good idea of whether or not you liked it. I found one dress that was particularly nice, but I didn't like it as much as my favourite so far! One thing that I did notice about this shop was that the wedding dress prices seemed very reasonable. There were a lot of dresses around the £600-£700 price range.
Labels: Wedding Dresses
Friday, February 16, 2007
Berketex Bride and Eleganza Sposa Edinburgh
Last Saturday I visited two more Edinburgh bridal shops - Berketex Bride in Frederick Street and Eleganza Sposa in Waterloo place.
The first stop was Eleganza Sposa, which was a lovely big bright shop with a large selection of dresses. The dresses were slightly more expensive than the other shops that I have been to so far e.g. lots of dresses in the £1000-2000 range, but there were still plenty of dresses under £1000 and lots of different styles.
When we arrived we were offered tea or coffee and I had to fill in a form with some information and what my budget was. We then picked around 6 dresses for me to try on. Unlike the previous two shops, this shop had all the pricetags visible on all the dresses, which I think is good as I don't see the point of risking falling in love with a dress that is twice my budget!
The shop had nice big changing rooms, and comfy seats for the bridesmaids and mums to sit on. I also thought the assistant that helped me into the dresses was very friendly and helpful.
As in the previous two shops, I found two dresses that I liked and had them written down on a piece of paper so I could come back later.
The next stop was Berketex bride in Frederick Street. The salon here wasn't as nice as Kavelle or Eleganza, but it was spacious and there was a good selection of dresses.
The assistant Anne was extremely helpful and suggested that my Mum and Kirsteen picked a dress that they would like me to try on. We picked out around 5 dresses and again, I tried them on one by one. The dress that Kirsteen chose was horrible (at least on me it was) - a creamy yellow colour and straight up and down. I made a 10 second appearence in it for her benefit only.
The one my Mum picked was actually one of my favourites. It had a very flattering cut and made me look like I had a smaller waist and bigger bust than I do, which was great!
For the fourth time I liked two dresses and yet again got them written down. Anne, the assistant was very good about encouraging me to try on the dresses that I liked for a second time. I also tried them both on with a hooped underskirt which gave the dress more shape and made me feel like I was floating along, rather than standing on the dress.
Today (Friday) I went back to both Eleganza Sposa and Berketex and tried on the four favourites and I am pleased to say that I have narrowed it down to one dress - hooray!
Berketex have an offer on until tomorrow - you get a £100 towards a veil or tiara if you spend over £800 on a dress. Anne was nice enough to squeeze an extra appointment in for me on Saturday (tomorrow), after the time that she normally finished, so I can come back after my other appointments that day and try on the dress again with all my bridesmaids there to give me an opinion this time. This also means that if this is the favourite dress I can take advantage of the offer.
So I'll be back with an update after tomorrow, hopefully the final day of frantic wedding dress shopping. It is so difficult to choose a favourite dress out of more than twenty dresses and really easy to end a day of shopping feeling extremely confused!
Labels: Wedding Dresses
Friday, February 09, 2007
Choosing a Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh
Choosing a wedding photographer in Edinburgh can be a daunting task - there are so many to choose from and when you begin your search you may find it hard to pick one. Most people begin the process with little idea of what they are looking for. They may scour the local yellow pages for a wedding photographer but this really isn?t the best method of choosing someone who is going to capture images of the most important day of your life.
One of the best ways to choose a wedding photographer is by word of mouth. If you know someone who was married recently ask them about which wedding photographer they used. They?ll be happy to show off the pictures that were taken and to also share how the experience was for them. It?s a bit tacky to ask about the price of the photographer unless you are very close to the person and you?ve discussed financial issues in the past.
If you don?t have the luxury of a personal recommendation for a wedding photographer, consider doing some research on the Internet. Most Photographers have their own website, usually with a gallery of photos from previous weddings and sometimes with a pricelist. If they don't have a pricelist you can email or phone them and quickly have one sent to you or emailed to you.
When I started looking for photographers I was quite shocked at the price - I had planned £800 in my budget, but was finding that many photographers came back with starting prices of over £1000 for their basic package (usually 30 or so photos in an album). One photographer even started at £1750! No way are we going to spend that much on our photos!
In the end I browsed through lots of websites that I found via Yell
or wedding magazine adverts and built up a short list. I contacted them all for availability and price and crossed the ones that weren't available or had too high a price off my list. That got me down to a list of 6 or 7 photographers. Another way to do this is to go to a wedding fair - many photographers set up stalls at wedding fairs with examples of their work.
Once you have your short list, call up each wedding photographer on your list. Ask to meet with them and explain that you?d like to see their portfolio and discuss the possibility of having them work with you on your wedding. An experienced wedding photographer will welcome the chance to meet with you and will suggest a time that is convenient. It is important to do this and make sure you feel comfortable with the photographer, after all, he or she will be spending a large portion of your day with you.
It?s very important once you do choose a photographer to discuss with him or her, what you imagine for your wedding day. If there are particular images that you want explain that in detail. They are great behind the camera but a little guidance on your expectations is always welcomed.
So far we have been to visit two photographers and we will visit a third one before making the decision. Both were really friendly, showed us lots of their work, answered all our questions, showed us different albums and discussed the different packages with us.
Labels: Wedding Photography
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Trying on Wedding Dresses for the first time
Yesterday was my first day of trying on wedding dresses. Part of me was looking forward to this experience, but the other part of me was feeling quite nervous - what if I look hideous in all the dresses!!. I had two appointments in Edinburgh - one with Kavelle on Gorgie Road and the other with Thistledown on Haymarket Terrace.
I met Kirsteen, one of my bridesmaids for a quick lunch at All Bar One and decided we may as well wash it down with a bottle of wine. This also helped to wash away any fear I had of trying on the dresses.
My first appointment was at 2pm at Kavelle
, 302-306 Gorgie Road. The shop was pretty big with a huge selection of gowns and Kirsteen and I spent a while looking at them and picking out the ones I wanted to try on. Most of the ones I chose were A-Line style dresses, but Kirsteen also insisted that I should try on the big Sugar Plum Fairy style dress as well. I was worried about how I would look in the dresses, but I needn't have - the dresses were beautiful and very flattering - emphasising your waist and bust and pulling you in in all the right places. I tried on about 5 dresses during my 1 hour appointment.
Kavelle is a family business run by a mother and her daughters and they were really friendly and helpful, taking time to help you into the dresses and bringing shoes, tiaras and veils for you to try on with the dresses and suggesting similar dresses that might suit you. Apart from the "Sugar Plum Fairy" dress I can't say that there was any dress that I tried on and didn't like - they were all so nice. I got them to write down the 2 that I liked the best and I will come back again once I have been to all my appointments
After that we went down to Thistledown
, 28 Haymarket Terrace, where I met my mum, who couldn't make it to my first appointment as she had had a lunch arranged for some time. Thistledown is smaller than Kavelle, but still has a good selection of dresses to try on. In Kavelle, most of the dresses had fitted me, but in this shop most of the dresses I chose to try on were too small apart from one of the ones I tried on. Since most shops only stock one size of each dress I think it is quite common that you will either be trying on a dress that is too big and they will have to use pins to pull it in, or the dress will be too small and they will put panels in the back. You can still get a good idea of what the dress will look like, even if it is too small or too big, but you feel a big difference when you actually do try on a dress that really fits. Again, I got them to write down the styles and prices of the 2 dresses that I liked the best.
I have no idea how I am going to manage to pick a dress at the end of this, but at least I know that there are a few that I like and they are within my price range, so I felt pretty happy at the end of the day.
A tip for wedding dress shopping is to wear a nice white bra and pants as you spend some time standing in your bra and pants in the changing room while the assistant helps you into the dress - so not a good time for wearing tatty old grey knickers!
Labels: Wedding Dresses
Friday, February 02, 2007
Wedding Video/DVD Booked!
We're on a roll this week - we've just booked someone to do our Wedding DVD/Video.
One of the best ways to find a photographer or a wedding videographer is by word of mouth. We were at a friend's wedding back in October and we watched her wedding DVD this week. We were really impressed with the quality and also liked how they added lots of still images to music at the end of the video. So we decided just to go with the same company:Armchair Theatre
4 Cadzow Place,
Tel - 0131 661 1663
The cost is £495 and includes a DVD master plus three copies. The deposit is £30.
If you are looking to get a wedding DVD made then here are a few options in Edinburgh and areas that cover Edinburgh:
Labels: Wedding DVD
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Our Wedding Band Booked!
Finally - I can tick something of that huge to do list! Hooray!
After listening to all these wedding bands last night on Hireaband
I emailed my short list of 5 bands to check on availability and price. 3 of the bands we had chosen were unavailable but the other two were available and cost £850 and £800 each. A bit higher than the original budget, but this is going to be our entertainment for half of the wedding. The lady from Hireaband also gave us a list of other bands that were free on our date ranging from £550 to £800, but we didn't like any of them us much the two remaining bands on our shortlist.
In the end we decided on a band called Pulse, with two male and one female member. They have great voices, the demo tracks sound good and there is a varied playlist so I think people will enjoy them. All I have to do is send a £100 deposit and then pay the balance 28 days before the wedding. The woman I spoke to on the phone seemed very friendly and helpful and said to give her a phone if we had any special requests that weren't on the play list and she would see what they could do.
So that's one more thing done, only 30 more or so to go!
Labels: Wedding Music