Thursday, October 9, 2014

Saying "Yes" to the Dress!

Like most girls, I spent a good chunk of my childhood dreaming about being a bride, one year I even was one for Halloween! (Still trying to dig up that photo.) There is so much pressure to find "THE DRESS", there are even shows completely dedicated to it!

Speaking of wedding dress shows, I actually applied to be on one before my dress hunt began. If you know me or have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that a little less than a year and a half ago, I lost my grandmother. She was such an integral part of my life and I never imagined I'd be planning a wedding without her. In fact, my engagement itself had its bittersweet moments realizing I wouldn't be able to call her and tell her the good news. One of my first thoughts in the wedding planning process was, that I needed to try on her wedding gown. Not only did my grandmother wear it, my mother wore it as well! (Talk about a Throwback Thursday!)
My Beautiful Grandmother in the dress in 1954
And my Mother in the dress in 1985!
After trying it on, I realized that, it needed a lot of work. While it looked stunning on both of them, it was definitely not my style and needed an update. So, that's when I contacted Something Borrowed, Something New. I figured, if there was anyone who could turn this dress into something absolutely perfect, it would be them, so I applied.

I thought that maybe they could put a modern take on the gorgeous lace gown, perhaps something like this dress that I found while looking at all the lovely wedding dresses on Lover.ly.
Much to my surprise, shortly after applying, they scheduled me an on camera interview! Before we had even left the building after our interview, we were already told we made it to the next round of casting! This might actually be happening! The next step was to make an at home video with your whole "entourage". My mom, Sam's mom and Danica were all there. We filmed a great video and then, it disappeared. Half way through the video, it just cuts out. We had to re-do it. Unfortunately the second one was nowhere near as good as the first and, to this day, I still am fairly certain that is why we weren't cast for the show. After what felt like an eternity of waiting to hear back I received this e-mail:

"Hi Shea, we finally have our cast set and unfortunately you didn't end up making the final cut.  I know this generally doesn't make anyone feel much better, but you ended up just outside our final group and were in the conversation up til the very end.  We wish you all the best with your wedding and hope you're able to find your dream wedding dress!  It was a pleasure working with you, thank you for being on top of it!

Sincerely,
SBSN Casting"

To be honest, I was somewhat relieved. I had a terrible fear that maybe they would turn the dress into something I didn't love and a family heirloom would be destroyed for nothing. However, not gunna lie, the rejection e-mail did sting a little, but, it was the first step in my dress finding journey! After not making it on the show, I took that as a sign to leave well enough alone and to find a dress of my own, despite my feelings of sentiment towards my grandmothers gown. Although I'm sure my grandma would have loved for me to be in her dress, I think she also knows how much of an individual I am (after all, I get that from her) and she would have also adored the idea of me being in something that was uniquely me.

The days leading up to my first (and only!) bridal salon appointment were nerve wracking. There is so much pressure to find THE dress. And years of watching TV shows puts in your mind that it is going to be impossible to please everybody. I chose a core group of women to come along to my appointment, my mom, my grandma, my best friend (and Maid of Honor) Danica, my cousin and Sams mom.

As I perused the racks I got more and more nervous. Was I going to find one? I started picking out a handful of ones I'd like to try, figuring out what I liked and didn't like. And then... as if out of a movie, (though we didn't realize it at the time) something amazing happened... The hanger of one of the dresses we were looking at broke and completely fell into our arms. Danica held onto it while I continued looking. We decided it would go in the "try on" group. When I got in the fitting room, the only dress that I could remember was the one that fell off the hanger, even though it was nothing like what I had imagined getting. So I tried it on first. Everyone thought it was beautiful but were quick to send me back to the dressing room, it was the first dress after all. I tried on dress after dress and none really compared to the first one. I ended up finding a couple others that I liked but just kept wanting to put that first one back on. Once I did, I think that a unanimous decision had been made. We all loved the dress, its uniqueness, but most of all, the way that it made me feel. Once I got home and was reliving the day I realized, I didn't chose that dress, that dress chose me! Of all the dresses in the store, it jumped right off it's hanger and said "Choose me!". I can't help but think that my grandma played a role in that. It still gets me emotional just thinking about it.

With the wedding just over a month away, I can't share photos of the dress just yet but I can't wait to have my guests and most of all, Sam, see it knowing that it is the most special dress I could have ever imagined.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Showered with Love

This past weekend my future Mother in Law threw me my first (of two) bridal showers. She grew up with all brothers and has two boys of her own so she tends to feel she is challenged when it comes to all things girly. This shower, however, proved otherwise! This was the first time that I had the pleasure of meeting much of Sam's extended family and his mothers friends. My mom and I can't stop talking about how blessed we are to be receiving so many wonder women into our lives!

My future Mother in Law knows me well, the food was burgers and hot dogs (pretty much my favorite foods) and there were NO GAMES! I know that games are traditionally played at all showers but I hate them. It's so forced and no one really likes it. It's like on the first day of school going around the room and everyone saying their name and something "interesting" about themselves. No one really wants to do or cares what anyone else is saying, but since everyone else is doing it, they go along with it. It was funny, after she mentioned there would be no games there was a resounding "Oh thank god, I hate shower games". But of course, there was one in the crowd that said "What? I love shower games!". There's one in every group.

We had such a wonderful time and Sam and I received some wonderful and generous gifts. We all got up and learned the cupid shuffle and the electric slide. My Mother in Law to-be is so much fun and this shower really proved to be as well. A small group of us stayed chatting and sipping champagne until long after dark. It really was the perfect day and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Danica & I
Stefana & I
My two leading ladies: My Mother & Grandmother
 Mom & Mom-to-Be
 My boo showed up with flowers. 

Some of the Bridal Party

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

That's What Shea Said

A couple of weeks ago now I was overwhelmed by my amazing friends who gave me the most perfect Bachelorette party that I could have possibly asked for.

As I've mentioned before, my maid of honor Danica and I have been planning my wedding since before I had a ring on my finger and yes, that includes the Bachelorette party. A few years ago now, my family's company (who has had Angel's season tickets for about 30 years now) decided to buy into a suite with a few other companies. As soon as I went for the first time my wheels began to turn... this would be a great place for a Bachelorette party... more specifically, MINE!

I've grown up watching Angel's baseball and, now that we have the suite, I spend the majority of my time during baseball season at the games. So, needless to say, once Sam finally put a ring on it, Danica and I got to making this plan a reality! Because of the way the season works, we knew we would have to have the party a pretty good chunk of time before the actual wedding. We went ahead and chose one of the last Saturday night home games and Danica did the rest!

I really do have a wonderful group of friends and they all made the night so special. I would say it was good practice for the wedding because, everyone always tells me it flies by and when it's over you can't believe it. That's exactly how I felt about my Bachelorette party! I can't thank everyone enough who made it out and made the night oh-so-special. Especially the lady in charge, Danica :)

We started with a suite at Hotel Menage, a hotel in Anaheim near the stadium. When I got there everyone had decorated the suite and put their custom baseball tee's on. I was so overwhelmed! We played a fun game where every guest brought a pair of undies that represented them. I had to guess whose was whose and I got 9 out of 13 right! It was a fun game (and a great way to score some new skivvies!) After opening all of the wonderful gifts, taking some photos (and popping some bottles of course) we headed to the stadium. The Angels won and it was a night I will never forget.
Danica's Handiwork
How Adorable are the Custom Shirts & Favors??
Homemade Cupcakes & Custom Wedding Paper Divas Coasters
A Closer Look at the Favors
"it's time to drink champagne and dance on the table" Shirts
Everything Came Together so Nicely! Check out those Custom Napkins & Coasters from Wedding Paper Divas!
Most of the Group
Whose Idea were the Tequila shots??
Love these Girls
The one that Made it all Happen!!




And Finally we ended up back at the Bar at Hotel Menage


I am so incredibly lucky to have so many wonder ladies in my life. I don't know what I would do without them. Thank you to each and every one of you that made me feel so special. I can't wait to boogie with you all again at the wedding! :)