Finding the Perfect Mother of the Bride Gown

Dorothy and I went shopping to find her Mother of the Bride’s dress and all I can say is I wish we took more photos!! I had asked her to please wear a floor length gown so I wouldn’t be the only one there in a floor length dress.

Dorothy had already looked online and had pinned a few things she liked on Pinterest. She had a specific brand in mind and found a local store that carried that brand, so we started our day at Toni In Style in Chagrin Falls. Toni was very sweet but also very opinionated. The best dress we found at their store was this, we didn’t love the jacket because it made Dorothy look matronly and she has a young spirit and a great body so we didn’t want her to wear something that made her look or feel “old”. This dress was 2/3 the price of my bridal gown [eek!]

Next we stopped by Bridal by the Falls and they only had VERY matronly looking dresses or Bridesmaids dresses. Dorothy tried on one bridesmaid dress but we decided it was not what we were looking for and we moved on.

Next, we went to Matina’s Bridal in Woodmere. This store set us up for some serious laughs so I only wish we had photos. First, we had pulled all of the Mother of the Bride dresses that we thought were sexy but still demure. Lots of them had gorgeous beading details. At the previous stores we had noted her assets and what we wanted to show off with a slimmer fitting gown. The consultant we had at Matina’s was of retirement age and kept pulling dresses that resembled Prom dresses from the 1980s. One literally was a huge poofy off the shoulder gown in teal green. The color looked great on Dorothy (it matched her eyes) but as soon as she looked in the mirror she and I both burst out laughing. She tried one last dress on there and found it was the top contender of the day, this was the style:

sab gown

We were intending to purchase it in solid red.

Following this, we went to lunch and talked about what we had done so far. We made the plan to go to look at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom at Beachwood Place next.

At Saks, we found a bunch of beautiful options but nothing that was quite right. Finally, at Nordstom we found the winner! It was such a great deal and showed off her great body and has a slight resemblance to the bridesmaids dresses because it has a beautiful cutout! I don’t want to give it away just yet, but I’ll drop a hint in that I found this necklace about a week later that would match perfectly…

I can’t wait for you to see the photos of her in the gorgeous dress!


What Will the Men Wear? Tuxedos!

Finding the tuxedos was fun. I didn’t have to put anything on for anyone and I got to see Theo’s genuine reaction to trying things on.

We went to two places and I only have photos from one. We went to American Commodore Tuxedo first where our consultant was AWESOME and narrowed things down in the beginning and then helped Theo try things on. The second store we visited was Men’s Wearhouse. Since Theo had tried a few different styles on at American Commodore he knew what he liked and wanted the most similar thing from Men’s Wearhouse. It was more expensive at Men’s Wearhouse and we said, “…well just try it on. If it’s that much better we will go with it.” Unfortunately, they didn’t have the only style Theo liked in the store for him to try on. The only jacket they had in that style was the display—which Theo tried on and looked so silly in…. he’s a tall guy as you know and this was a jacket fit for a small mannequin. So, American Commodore it was…here are the results of Theo’s American Commodore Tuxedo fashion show.

First try: Wing Tip Collar (she said it was “more formal” and he liked that, but neither of us loved it on him) with Regular [straight] Tie:

Second try: Wing Tip Collar with Bow Tie…slight improvement but we decided to try the regular collar

Third try: Regular Collar and Regular Tie

Fourth try: switch it back to the Bow Tie..

Fifth try: Let’s try on the other jacket you liked with the piping detail….oh! Finally a smile! He likes the jacket!

Sixth try: Can we try a REAL hand-tie bow tie? Somebody feels like James Bond over here.

And if we add the vest underneath… what does that look like?

And if we take the jacket off…

This was some MAJOR static cling!

*The shirts are ivory to match my dress and not make it look dingy*

Lastly, this bow tie is the fabric we chose for the pocket squares. I wanted something patterned and I loved the stripes. They had two options, actual black and white striped or this tone-on-tone option which Theo was really drawn to and he picked!

Overall, it was so fun because we liked the same pieces and I let him choose all of it (based on a few inspiration Pins I had). I let him choose from gray, charcoal or black and this was all him. I will have one fashionable groom!

Which combo is your favorite?




Getting Pretty: Hair and Makeup Inspiration

So I made the decision to do my own day-of makeup and/or let my bridesmaids help. After doing research to see how much professional makeup costs (for one day of wear!) I decided although airbrushed has an awesomely professional look and I definitely don’t have those skills myself, it was more worth it to me to spend that money on makeup I can use all the time (and get really awesome at using). I love some of the higher-end brands I’ve invested in lately a la MAC, Tarte and Urban Decay (beyond my everyday Maybelline and CoverGirl).

For my makeup I want to look “sweetly rosy” mixed with “classic bombshell”.

red lip2

Rose red lips and rosy cheeks with neutral but dramatic eyes.

I want the bridesmaids to rock essentially the same look, but the red lips to be replaced with fuchsia.

Bridal Makeup Inspiration:

red lip5

red lip3

red lip1

Bridesmaid Makeup Inspiration:

pink lip 2

pink lip 1

For my hair, Theo expressed that he doesn’t like it all up and would like it down. I think a nice compromise to keep it out of my face and feeling a little more dressy would be to have it half-up with some kind of pretty braid ( or twist?) and curls combo.

Bridal Hair Inspiration:

hair 5


hair 2

hair 7

hair 8

hair 1

Flower Girl Hair Inspiration:

I would love to see those little sweeties with a fun little detail on the top of their heads…maybe a curled ponytail or a little ballerina bun.

fg hair 2

fg hair 3

fg hair1

I haven’t thought too much about Bridesmaid hair..I guess I’m pretty open to whatever they want to do! Any suggestions?

Choosing Our Save the Dates

As I said in my post about Choosing Black and White Invitations, the Invitation vision came first and to be honest, I’m glad it did. It gave me a solid foundation to work with:

I knew the Save the Dates would either be postcard style and not need envelopes or use the same hot pink “Razzle Berry” Poptone envelopes as the invitations.


Although I’ve liked getting them in the past, I knew I didn’t want to go with magnetic save the dates for us. Lots of people do tend to hang these on their fridge but if all a guest wanted to do was write it on their calendar (or in their phone’s calendar) for months down the road that’s perfectly fine with me —no obligation to hang it up anywhere.

Another thing that was originally “predetermined” about our Save the Dates is that they had to have our picture on them. You see, I have always loved the idea of engagement photos to have pictures in our home of us in normal clothing (not just our formal wedding attire). Theo insists that there’s really no reason to invest in engagement pictures unless we are showing them off on the save the dates. I can get behind that because for any relatives who haven’t met our spouse-to-be they can see how cute we are together. However, it took us a while to commit to a photographer. It took so long to choose them that they were booked and we could only have end-of-fall (November) Engagement photos and I had always preferred end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall  (September) for outfits and our surroundings.

So, Engagement photos were cut.  [Since our photographers had an Engagement session built into our package anyways, we decided to switch it to an “Anniversary shoot” to take place about a year after the wedding. Still giving us an opportunity to have professional photos in “normal” clothes and what a better way to celebrate the “paper” anniversary?!] Without Engagement photos it was clear to me that the Save the Dates would compliment the vision I had for the invitation and give a little taste of what we had planned.

So, (without further adieu) these are the final options for the Save the Dates!


via etsy

bree std

via etsy


via etsy

Next up, our Save the Date Reveal!!





Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the future Mr. and Mrs. Mote!


We are spending this Christmas in upstate New York with family. But I’ve included a photo of our Christmas tree at home (It’s Candy Land themed) and our Engagement ornaments we got last Christmas!

The Fashionable Four

I’m talking about the Flower Girls.

Those four little babes are going to be so classic looking.

We decided on a dress and the winner is….



Which, after we remove the flower sash will look more like this.



We will be adding a fuchsia sash so they can have a nice, large bow on the back side while tying in with the bridesmaids dresses.





With their little moss baskets full of red and pink rose petals, they are going to steal the show.

I can’t wait to see them on our wedding day wearing it all together!

Registry Items We Are Excited For

What are we most excited to have registered for? Things that are going to make our lives easier.


A KitchenAid Stand Mixer

I used my Mom’s KitchenAid Stand Mixer every holiday season to mix up lots of cookies. I’ve also made lots of mashed potatoes with it! I’m excited to get a few of the fun attachments to make other favorites–like ice cream!


A LeCreuset Dutch Oven

I’m excited to finally have a big enough pot to make a double batch of soup!! I love to make us yummy soups in the winter and this is the perfect pot to make them in!


massage table

A Folding Massage Table

Theo is the one really excited about this one, he thinks this will be a better and more comfortable way to get and give massages than sitting on top of each other.

ipad holder

A Tablet Holder

Again, I am excited about this one for the use we can get out of it in the Kitchen. I don’t use a lot of cookbooks, but I use my ipad for recipes all the time. Although mine has a folding stand it can only stand in the horizontal direction and vertical is often what I want to read a recipe.


Zoku Classic Popsicle Molds

We have been in search of well-sized and easy-to-release popsicle molds for a long time now and the reviews on these say they won’t disappoint.

butter dish

BIA Covered Butter Dish

We are both really excited about this one because….it has a knob! The current butter dish we have does not have a knob and if the lid gets any butter on it it becomes incredibly slippery and hard to handle.


green saver

OXO GoodGrips GreenSaver Containers

We are both really excited about these because they promise longer lasting produce, which we sadly throw out way too much of.



Wilton Advance Springform Cake Pans

In my opinion, birthday cakes should always be round stacked cakes. It’s how I was raised. So I am excited to make ours (and our future family’s) birthday cakes for many years to come.


grill griddle

Emerilware Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle

We are excited about this one because it means we will be able to make multiple pancakes and grilled cheese at the same time! We love grilled cheese!


Conair Mini Steamer

We are excited about this one as it is so practical—it can be used on wedding day for everyone’s attire and long after for everything from formal attire to curtains!





What It’s Really Like to Register

Months ago I completed the “Master Registry List” and then I had Theo go over it with me and we discussed which ones we really wanted and what we would really like to replace.

For instance, we currently have some missing, broken and melted-by-dishwasher set of plastic measuring spoons and measuring cups. I’m pretty sure I purchased them in college at Wal*Mart for under $5.00. We definitely wanted to replace those with metal versions. Another example was although our 1970s Crockpot works perfectly fine, (I bought it at a garage sale for $3.00) it’s not very big and because of its age it makes me a little nervous about electrical malfunction–especially to leave it on if we won’t be home.

My best friend and Matron of Honor Tina, told me registering would be so fun and I was really hoping she was right. After I had spent weeks preparing the list of what we should register for I was almost exhausted just thinking about it.

Theo and I made a day out of it and registered at two stores on the same day. We even planned a meal in between to keep us full. Since the first would be a quick(er) stop I figured it wouldn’t be a problem even though I had read that going to multiple places in one day was not the best idea. Word of advice? Don’t go to two places in the same day, but definitely take your checklist with you. Mine was an Excel Spreadsheet of everything we wanted to look for. I had also done some pre-registering online and I printed both of those lists out.

First we went to Pottery Barn *side note: I ended up deleting this registry*. Most of things we wanted could only be purchased in store and/or didn’t have tags on them in the store for us to scan them. The store was also SUPER limited as far as inventory and didn’t give us many options to look at. Ultimately, I setup an Amazon registry for us and anything from Pottery Barn we really loved was placed on there through their “Universal Registry” option.


We were there for about an hour, the highlight was Theo found a furry blanket he loved and kept wanting to pet. I kept telling him if he loved it so much, to just scan it and put it on the list. The thing I really liked there was their “Caterers Set” glassware and silverware. The silverware matched what I already had from Oneida and had a similar weight to it (I like silverware with clean lines and a nice heaviness to them). [I knew how similar they were because I brought a set of my own in my purse! Haha!] At Pottery Barn we didn’t really use the checklist, we mostly walked from one area to the next because as I explained, we had only limited choices for everything.


Following that, we went to a late lunch/ early dinner at Piada. It was my first time there and my first time trying fried calamari…I loved it!


After Piada we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I had already created a good-sized online with them of things I knew we wanted but I also wanted to see a lot of things in person to make a final decision.


We sat and waited a decent amount of time before one of the wedding registry consultants was able to help us even though I had made an appointment. She gave us a bag full of catalogs and different tech savvy registry tools to help us decide on things. I clarified that I had already set up a registry with them online and we had done this at another store (Pottery Barn) already so we were comfortable just taking the scanner gun and running with it. She let us go at it on our own…..and things got very disorganized very quickly. We just walked from one section to the next, like we had at Pottery Barn, but Bed, Bath and Beyond was SO much bigger and had so many more options than Pottery Barn that we were wishing it was more limited.  After about 15 minutes, Theo begged me to pull out the list I had. We are both so glad I had it because it helped streamline things a lot. However, after we made it halfway through the store he was completely bored with shopping. I kept asking ….can we just look at one more thing….(bath mats, bedding, sheets, etc.)? After an hour of trying to keep getting one more thing done..we were both completely whipped and decided to go home.

This was one thing I found on our way out (after we had returned the scanner gun) that I just loved so I needed a picture of it to make sure I added it later at home.

Over the next couple weeks I referenced the old registries of friends to see what other people liked and added items based on things I missed or thought was better than what I had originally registered for. I also visited a different location and took the time to see certain everyday smaller items in person and choose the ones that would be best for us, mostly cooking utensils like spatulas.

What was your registry experience like? Awesome? Overwhelming? Or somewhere in between?


Late edit (January 2016):

We are VERY pleased with the Bed, Bath and Beyond registry system. We received a Christmas gift from our registry and it was great, until the second time we used it and one of the knobs/switches broke off completely. [SAD FACE.] We packed it back up and they let us exchange it no questions asked and gave us the original gift receipt back if anything happens to this one!  [TOOTHY GRIN SMILEY FACE!!] Here are some photos of us using it before the switch to open the plates to the flat “griddle” position broke off:

My Discount Linens Haul

This was the result of the fact  that it was outrageously expensive just to RENT linens through our venue. I told a little white lie and said a family member wanted to “gift” us our linens from another source to ask if we were allowed to bring them in. Our venue coordinator said yes it was fine to bring in our own linens, but that we were responsible for all setup and teardown of those linens.

I drew ups some ‘mini diagrams’ as examples for Theo to choose from.

I already knew I wanted the fuchsia tablecloth for the cake table and the drawing shows it with lots of little cupcakes.

I also already knew the guest tables would have white table cloths (provided by the venue) with black napkins (provided by the venue) and green vases of red and fuchsia flowers (hand-arranged by us). I also knew I wanted the fuchsia table runners. All of the chairs would have black chair covers and fuchsia bow-tied chair sashes.

But..what would our Sweetheart table be? Black-and-white striped? Gold Sequins? Or, Fuchsia to match the cake table?

We knew it had to be more unique since it was “our” table so the fuchsia was out. I was in love with the gold sequins but really wanted to know what Theo thought. 

I showed my diagram to Theo and he agreed that the gold sequins were the best option for our Sweetheart Table! 

I purchased everything below from for under $375 including shipping and tax. The best part is we can re-sell these items after the wedding to offset their cost, rather than only paying for a one-time use. The only downfalls to the situation are (as previously mentioned) having to set up and teardown ourselves and having to iron and transport everything.


145 Polyester Black Banquet Chair Covers


These were all individually wrapped in small bags and because of that they are incredibly wrinkly and need some major ironing or steaming. If I finish ironing these by the end of March I will be so proud of myself. 

145 Polyester Satin Fuchsia Chair Sashes


These were folded into small bags of 5 each. These were thin and  very easy to iron.

19 Fuchsia Polyester Table Runners


These were in single bags and were pretty easy to iron as well.

1 – 117″ Fuchsia Round Crinkle Taffeta Tablecloth (for our Cake Table)


This was in a decently large bag and was only hard to iron because of its size and round shape, you had to iron out the fold lines and rotate it to make sure you got all sides without letting it completely slide off of the ironing board. 

2 Fuchsia Rectangular Crinkle Taffeta Tablecloths


This was easy to iron because it was rectangular so all of the folds were in rows.

1 – 120″ Champagne (Light Gold) Round Tablecloth (for our Sweetheart Table)


This didn’t need a lot of ironing, because of its weight it didn’t fold tightly in the package. I did make sure to iron this one from the back side.

Admittedly, some of these pieces came with minor staining and/or were not sewed in perfectly straight lines. For the price, I’m willing to make that sacrifice. The polyester table runners were the worst for both issues. ALL of it was shipped in two large boxes literally bursting at the seams. The one box was tearing from the side and each was about 35 lbs. There was no room for other packing material so once I let it tear more small plastic baggies started spilling out.

I will follow-up on this after the wedding and let you know how it was to transport, setup and teardown our own linens. I have everything but the chair covers ironed at this point and if I get done with them by the end of March I will be really proud of myself, if not it will be an ironing party with my bridesmaids when they sleepover the night of my bridal shower!