Unapologetically honest. What will she rate it out of 5 stars…?
Author: Rated by Hanna
New England based blogger with unapologetically honest opinions, Wife, Financial Consultant, Yelp Elite and recovering makeup addict. Mostly review and analysis format posts interlaced with personal anecdotes often with my own (mis)fortune to inform readers.
Always open to collaborations and new ideas! Feel free to drop me a message in the contact page.
We will be packing, traveling and more packing for the remainder of May! Exciting stuff right?! We will be on a brief hiatus for the remainder of May. Check out a previous post of our Travel Map of locations in Italy we will visit and follow instagram on the side to see more real time updates, minus the long winded commentary! We seriously had every intention of creating some content before hand and to schedule but oh well… Otherwise we have surprisingly kept up with the schedule!
Not to worry we will be back before you know it with more content and this post will self-destruct. In the mean time if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Between my me and my husband we have 4 left feet… The thought of awkwardly tripping all over each other or swaying lifelessly for our first dance as our friends and family watched on me queasy. My original plan was to DIY our dance routine by just using our favorite resource, YouTube! (Seriously I used this to learn how to swim.) Time slipped by — fast forward to February with the wedding around the corner! While browsing Groupon I noticed a deal for dance lessons at db studios which was very conveniently located for us. Of course I browsed reviews ahead of time to make sure we weren’t walking into a trap, and noticed that they had several glowing reviews. What did we have to lose trying them out? (BTW they also just started April 2016.) Congratulations to db studios too for celebrating their 1 year anniversary!
Another similarly priced location is Dance in Boston(DiB). Many other dance studios do not even publish their rates online and you have to call to get more info.
The owner and instructor, Kendall, responded immediately to our initial e-mail inquiry and we set up a FREE consultation dance lesson with her. I may have inadvertently made her update the website since it now says the Groupon/Yelp deals can’t be combined. Oops!
Free lesson cannot be combined with any other offer, including Groupon/Yelp etc. Groupon- Not eligible for free consultation offer.
True to their website slogan, Kendall is an extremely knowledgeable, patient and friendly instructor! She has a strong background in competitive ballroom dance and has over a decade of experience teaching adults and kids. We felt comfortable trying new steps the entire time with her guidance. We even overcame my biggest fear of being dropped while doing the dip finale. We did not create specific choreography for the dance so each time we performed the song, it was slightly different. There were so many times where we were either too early or too late for the ending!
One of the highlights of the wedding planning process was definitely the various tastings! Believe it or not, we actually got to a point during the cake tasting where we reached our capacity – sweets overload. I wouldn’t mind lending my help for any future brides to be for this aspect if you catch my drift. Anyway let’s kick off the post-wedding series Wedding Wednesday series with Konditor Meister (KM) for our wedding cake! As I mentioned previously my SO and I chose this place as the cake vendor through our Raffael’s venue as it was included in our package. We also had a choice of Montillio’s, but from the venue tasting, we overall loved KM more!
I will be using the WeddingWire vendor rating system below, they break out the ratings by categories and average everything for a final verdict so these ones will be much more precise than even half stars! (Yes I made an account on there solely to use their rating.)
2 weeks away from our 2 week Tour of Italy honeymoon! We are eternally grateful for everyone who contributed to our honeymoon fund to make our trip even more memorable! In addition to uploading photos on social media, we will share details about our trip here since we don’t travel often enough to warrant a separate travel blog. Of course there will also be reviews and stories integrated for all the main stops!
I also created a Google Map, which you can browse of some locations we will visit on our adventure. Thanks to my friend MlleJia for sharing how she embedded the map while she’s documenting her adventures in SE Asia. I think that is an upgrade WordPress feature that’s not available for the basic package we have. You can just click on the image and it will take you to my Google Map for more details about each of the stops laid out over the course of 14 days!
If you have any recommendations please share we would love to add more places to check out while we are in Italy!
Cue that Blues Clues song ♫. Last pre-wedding wedding series post! Fret not, the actual vendor reviews are not far yonder. Let’s talk about the lovely Save the Date reminder and actual Invitation to send your beloved guests! You’ve got to think of something fridge worthy to compete with the limited real estate in some instances. I’m sure it’s always a pleasant surprise to break from the endless litany of bills and spam offers to receive personalized mail! I’ve seen cute custom fridge magnets, postcards, announcement cards and online graphics. You can show off those snazzy new Engagement photos you took to test out your potential photographer right. OR if you skipped the photo session, you can send out a beautiful graphic with all the key details. (TIP: Don’t forget to insert your wedding website so guests know where to look for info.) However you wish to present yourself, this will be your guests’ first glimpse what to expect for the wedding!
We sent our Save the Dates 10 months prior, and painstakingly wrote (with Wai’s help) each guest’s name and address. I personally used Vistaprint, since one of my other friends used them, and hers turned out amazing! (I actually used hers as a reference along with all of the other weddings we attended last year.) My bridal party decided on using Mintedfor my tea party themed bridal shower invites. Then for the actual wedding invitations, thankfully they were included with our venue package through Raffael’s! (I’m still sleuthing to figure out what vendor they used. We had a huge book of invitations we looked through.) We learned from the Save the Date struggles and created our own design to print the addresses directly onto the envelopes. (We also fiddled with labels but the coloring just looked off.)
What’s the default place newly engaged and their bridal party flock to to look for dresses? Probably Davids Bridal (DB) in the US. There are several other boutiques and higher end chains that are usually more expensive with appointments required. However there’s no denying that they have cornered a monopoly for (affordable) bridal attire. All of my bridesmaids admittedly ordered their dresses from this place and it was convenient coordinating colors since they have the set palette. My post will be 2 pronged talking generally about their (1) wedding dress line, along with the (2) options for bridal party and special occasions. Of course we can’t forget the overall rating at the end!
Now if you’re wondering, another bride mentioned finding her perfect dress from Marry & Tux in Nashua, NH [Yelp Review], which my future mother-in-law (FMIL) and I also visited. The starting price at that place was $900-1500 for the lowest end of budget. Going up north to NH is not a bad idea though if you want to save some tax $. The luxury tax threshold in MA is only $175, so most likely you will have to pay something additional. Sadly $1,400+ is the average amount spent on wedding dresses these days. Alarming Avg. Figures for Dress Costs – Boston Globe
DB gets a bad reputation due to its accessibility some have even equated it as the Wal-Mart of the wedding world. In recent years DB has been trying to change their image from the “Walmart” of wedding dresses. I find that quite ironic considering that the average price of a gown from there is still around $500-$1,200+. Keep in mind if you are getting a lower priced dress you will also have very limited sizing selections fighting with other brides/bridesmaids to get a deal! I’ve been to two locations one in Natick [Yelp Review] and in Westwood [Yelp Review]. No major complaints about either.
I need your valued opinion to assist in helping me choose which fonts to go with my (new) logo! Many thanks to the amazing Leona for creating several sketches and bringing the idea to life. We just started conversations about this a few weeks ago! That’s right I’m taking steps to elevate and officialize my hobby blog! Also this is officially my 20th solo post according to WordPress. I know the entire blog has several more but my guest author has helped me with those.
I’m conducting a poll to see which out of the 3 or 4 below people think looks best. I will update this post and announce the ONE Sunday!
EDIT: Sunday, April 16, 2017
Thank you everyone for your votes and feedback!
Leona did an amazing job capturing my side parted hair, constantly questioning eye brow and signature winged eyeliner.
Please take a gander If you’re interested in seeing which sketches we considered before choosing this one!