Dress Story- Part 1

So a couple weeks ago I finally ordered my dress!  It's sort of a long story but I will try to summarize it the best I can.
You can read about some issues I had with getting myself to dress shop here:
Where's the time gone and Wedding Dress Blues

What I ended up doing was I decided I would go to a few dress stores in California to get an idea on what I like and then I would go to Texas for a weekend to make my final choice with my family.  The few weeks went by quick but in the end I got my dress!

The first shop I went to was David's Bridal.  I was a little nervous that they would be pushy but luckily the dress consultant I was paired with was really nice and not pushy at all!  I took Jared with me because I really don't mind if he sees the dress beforehand.  He's always really helpful when we go shopping so I wanted him to be there.
I had Jared armed with both my phone and my camera for him to take photos.  He texted pictures of the dresses to my family as I tried them on.  The photos he took on my other camera I emailed to my family later that day.  It ended up working out pretty well!
The dress consultant was great- she let me try on every single dress on my list and gave me some space after I tried on each dress so that Jared could take pictures and I could get a feel for the dress.  It was a really nice experience!  There was even a dress I liked there.

Our next stop in California was an Alfred Angelo.  Here I was able to try a few of the Disney dresses- Belle and Cinderella.  I really liked these but the Cinderella dress was a bit too puffy for me and the Belle dress felt heavy.  They were beautiful dresses and so much fun to try on but they were not quite me.

This dress was beautiful but wasn't the one for me.

I did try on another dress that I really liked that actually reminded me of Belle even though it wasn't a Disney dress.  I thought it was the one but unfortunately the consultant I had was putting a little too much pressure on me to purchase it right away.  She got me to the counter to check out and place my order but I froze and told her I wanted to wait.  I'm very glad I did!
Those were the two places I went to in California.  The next two places I went to were in Texas.  I will tell this part of the story in my next post so stay tuned!

Save the Dates- Shutterfly

For Save the Dates we really wanted to do something affordable so we searched online for different options.  We looked at invitation sites and a couple of other sites that did Save the Date magnets but they were all a little more than we wanted to spend.  I started looking at Walgreens but there weren't any options on the Walgreens site that I liked.
Then one day at work I had to create an account with Shutterfly for a project I was working on.  Afterwards I started getting emails from Shutterfly every week about current deals or discounts they have.  While getting these emails and looking at the site, I saw that they did Save the Dates.  I looked them over and saw that they had a pretty good selection and when Jared and I looked at them together we found one that we liked a lot.  It was affordable, would let us use 3 of the pictures we took around Disneyland, and there was even a special deal going on that would get us a discount on our order.
The card style we selected had 6 squares on it in which you could insert 3 pictures and then use the others for text.  A lot of my family speaks Spanish so we used the middle text square for the date, another square for the info in English, and the last square for it in Spanish. 
We ordered 50 Save the Dates with envelopes and it only cost around $30.  When we got them in the mail we were pretty happy with the result.  Our only complaint was the packaging it came in.  It wasn't very sturdy and seemed slightly banged up but luckily the cards were fine.
Here is the Save the Date!  (I edited out info to keep some of it private but you get the gist of it!)

Here is the site for Shutterfly's wedding/save the date cards!

DIY Engagement Pictures

Originally Jared and I were not planning to get engagement pictures because we didn't want to do anything unnecessary that would be an extra expense.  After the 7 years we've known each other we have plenty of pictures that we love and are special to us.  We did want some new pictures for our Save the Dates though so we decided that we would try to do them ourselves. We don't know anyone with photography as a hobby so we made plans to have Jared's brother go with us to the Disneyland Resort to take pictures. The day before we went I emptied my little pink digital camera of photos to create as much space for pictures as possible.

The Camera:

We ended up doing one session of pictures in formal dress so the photos wouldn't look too much like our usual vacation pictures and then another session of pictures where we are in casual dress.  We took a lot of pictures because we figured if we took several photos there was bound to be some we liked and sure enough there were!
Here are some of our favorites of the pictures:

Not bad for photos that only cost us the mocha we bought for Jared's brother!

In addition to the pictures we took on my camera, Jared and I also got some taken by the Disney Photopass photographers around Disneyland.  Several of those pictures didn't turn out as great as we'd hoped but on our second day of taking pictures, we had a Disney photographer who was the best I'd ever met at a Disney Park.  He was in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle and he really took his time with the picture, making sure there was noone else in the photo and telling us how to pose.  We never even told him we were engaged or anything but he had us pose as a couple and the photo was our favorite of all the pictures we'd taken!

We really got lucky finding that photographer!  We really love this picture!

We got some great pictures and were able to use a couple for our Save the Dates.  We recently selected a photographer for our wedding and it turns out that they currently include a complimentary engagement shoot but I'm still really glad we took these photos!  They are all very special to us and looked great on our Save the Dates!