Announcement · Review · Series · Wedding · Yelp

Dance Lessons: db Studios

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.

JM1
Us with Jon McLaughlin himself!

We decided that our first dance song would be I Am Always Gonna Love You by Jon McLaughlin [1] before we started our lessons. That way we could hit the ground dancing!

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!

Continue reading “Dance Lessons: db Studios”

Announcement · Ideas · Series · Travel

Italy Honeymoon Travel Map

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!

Gate1Italy

 

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!

ItalyMap

If you have any recommendations please share we would love to add more places to check out while we are in Italy!

Review · Series · Wedding

Mail Time: Save the Dates & Invites

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 Minted for 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.)

Continue reading “Mail Time: Save the Dates & Invites”

Brand · Business · Review · Series · Wedding · Yelp

David’s Bridal Exposé

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

Stylequiz
I took their style quiz and here are the “picks”.  I can’t stand strapless haha!

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.

 

Continue reading “David’s Bridal Exposé”

Announcement · Review · Series · Wedding

Bridal Shows: to go or not to go?

I’m pleased to announce my first ever collaborative post with a fellow blogger, Leona AKA Crafty Boo & Artsy Pea about our experiences at bridal shows! So it’s like you’re getting 2 Wedding Wednesday posts at once! Especially great when drowning with work these days. Check out her blog for her Wed or Bust experience at the 2nd Annual Craft My Wedding Bridal Show in Boston! (I actually found the event through Yelp and shared it with her since I thought it would be perfect!)

I attended The Bridal Event at The Mall at Chestnut Hill armed with a few of my Bridesmaids and my future mother-in-law on September 27, 2015 (wow, that seems like ages ago now). Fresh from my engagement in August 2015, the excitement of wedding planning didn’t fully unravel into the anxiety-filled days presently, so I thought I had plenty of time. I actually found out about the event just by shopping at the Mall several weeks prior. For any average person who has been to the Chestnut Hill Mall, you may notice that it exudes an air of pretentiousness with its limited set of high end/luxury stores. Now, knowing their target audience, the bridal show definitely exhibited brands that I would never be able to afford, nor would I want to splurge on. The show I attended  was *FREE*, but don’t be turned off if the one you want to go to charges an admission fee! (Leona had a great time at hers and hers had a $15 fee.)
Continue reading “Bridal Shows: to go or not to go?”

Review · Series · Wedding

Wedding Withouts

Not a review of a specific wedding aspect that I can assign a numerical rating, but maybe more the traditional concept of weddings in the US. I’ve attended a few local weddings at this point, read more than my fair share of wedding “How-tos” and “Essentials”. Even last week when we went through the nauseating checklist TheKnot provides, I alluded to all of the items we left on the cutting room floor. I must forewarn you that if you are a guest coming to the wedding you might have briefly seen these on the wedding website FAQs page of what (not) to expect if you’ve perused the site!

 

Continue reading “Wedding Withouts”

Brand · Product · Review · Series · Wedding

FREE Wedding Websites TheKnot Part 2

Now where were we from the FREE Wedding Websites Part 1? If you haven’t read all of the different options I laid out, I would recommend reading my previous post before continuing. At this point I’m 99% done with the website and just adding any last minute or day of information along with photos from additional events. I look forward to the day when I will stop receiving these e-mails from TheKnot, stressing me about the endless checklist of tasks for your typical western wedding. We’ve definitely cut out several items we deemed unnecessary.

TKemails
209 days seems like so long ago… Look at how few of these e-mails I’ve actually opened.

Continue reading “FREE Wedding Websites TheKnot Part 2”