Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Dresses’

Offbeat Bridal Dress Shots- session one 2.2010

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

I promised pictures of my impromptu wedding dress shoot were on the way and here I am to deliver…………..  like I said before this was an impromptu session with my friend & professional photographer Rochelle Nevedal (you can find her on facebook).  The only “wedding items” that were purchased were the dress, earrings ($4 @ Charlotte Russe)  and the purse (TJ Maxx- $30………. it is a Rampage clutch a similar black one retail for $127 on their website), everything else prop wise were items we had already owned and had around the house.

If you do an on location photo-shoot (this was done in her dining room) you can always use existing items around the house for props.  No need to buy additional items just for a photo-shoot .  Worried you may not having anything fun or funky? Stop looking at your stuff as a whole and break it down, look at individual pieces.  The fun purse your grandma left you before she died, that old globe or set of encyclopedias setting in the corner of your office, you already own great props…… you just have to find them.  Trust me, they’re there.  If you have the right photographer with the right vision, they’ll make it work and they will encourage you on your search.  Many photographers that share your vision will often have their own arsenal of props they own as well, as them and take advantage of what they have to use.

When choosing a photographer- find someone whose vision you share.  If you look at their portfolio and all you see is couples standing at the alter hand in hand, or embracing……….. when you want photos of you & your husband pushing each other in the carts at the laundry mat; chances are they will not be able to give you what you want.  It works the same reversed.

It is getting late and I have to get to bed………….. but I’ll elaborate more later on how to get better deals with photographers.  Stay tuned………….

Rochelle- if you’re reading this, you are amazing and I can’t wait for our engagement session! You made me look beautiful <3

………the whole nine yards………..

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Hi- I am the future mrs. culberson.  I am moving over from another blog site, so I will post a brief version of what has been posted on the other site.  I will warn you-  I am a broke ass bride (total budget around $1,000), very DIY, and I am totally in love with the man of my dreams.  Almost everything I write about in regards to our wedding is either second hand, homemade, or talked down from the original price…….. cause’ that’s the way I roll.

So sit back, relax, put on your sexy specs………… and here we go………….

Woah………….. here we go!  My first real blog. “Like a virgin…….. “ Everybody- sing it together!

Ok, I’m quite over that.   Moving on…………..

I have always wanted to write………….. about everything.  My life, the chaos, art & love I create………….. more recently my family, my engagement & wedding planning, finding God in a devil driven society, and what it’s like to be bi-polar trying to hold it all together while staying sober.

I am recently out of rehab, and almost two months clean……………  and everyday is an adventure.

I invite you to join me in this journey I call life.  See things through my eyes, and together we’ll take it from there.


Comment…………. give me your feedback.  Tell me what you like, what you don’t like……….. what you’d like to see, etc.


I went to one of my favorite stores the other day (TJ Maxx ) and was pleased to find wedding invites, favor bags, and a batchlorette party in a box all on sale for under $10!  In our wedding colors none the less.  (We are going with turquoise, white & black with hot pink accents)  I was able to get all of our invites, and other goodies for under $30!  What a steal.  I love that store.

Here’s the goods:

Invites- Retail $19.99, I paid $9

Favor boxes- retail $9.99, I paid $4

Batchlorette Party in a Box- Even includes the rhinestone tiara! Paid $4

I am so thrilled with the way the little things are coming along, this week I am going to look into renting our venue.  I have about $200 to work with.  (I warned you, I am broke ass)  I am also going to look into booking the two bands I want……… hoping to get them.

I was browsing CraigsList (one of my guilty pleasures) when I came across a size 8 first communion/flower girl dress.  My curiosity got the best of me and I checked it out.  Only $15 and this dress was beautiful.  I called and talked to the lady, and we agreed that maybe I would find a way to pick it up later this week.  In my mind I could not fathom a way to make this happen though because she lived out of town, and I don’t drive or have access to a car.  So for me to get out there is near impossible.


Fast forward two hours ————>

I am napping and the phone rings.  It is the woman with the dress.  She is coming into town and wants to know if I would like to meet her.  I am psyched.

We end up meeting within the next thirty minutes at my house (I am so low on cash I have to use laundry quarters to buy the dress, lol) and the moral of the story is that it ends up being mine!  I walked away with Jades dress for our wedding, and for only $15.  The dress is beautiful………… and is everything I had ever wanted.

The beautiful $15 treasure

She is going to look so beautiful walking me down the aisle with my father in this dress.  All I can say is God is good….. and boy does he ever work in mysterious ways.

new day-

SO I had an hour to kill this afternoon.  I was waiting for the bus and there happened to be a resale store near the bus stop.  I figured I’d take a look.  Last time I was in there I found a hair crimper from the 80’s………. God only knows what I’d find this time.

I ditched my latte’ on the curb (no food or drinks) and worked my way into the store.  Something told me to look at dresses, though I never find cute dresses in my size at a reasonable price.  I pushed through the racks and worked my way back to formal gowns, then to wedding dresses.  Then I found one stuffed way in the back that actually was pretty cute, and the tag……….. well the tag must have been a misprint.  The tag said a 20.  It was a gorgeous halter style white Davids Bridal wedding gown,  and it was clearly marked as a size 20.  Odd, because I am a size 20………… and I needed a weeding dress.  Fate?

I figured it was just the dress size, and that it was maybe a 14/16 actual size….. but I’d try it on for shits & giggles.  I picked it up and worked my way towards the sales counter with the bulky dress bag.  I asked the ladies, did they know if it was a street 20, or a dress 20?  They weren’t sure, but they were confident that if I just tried it on it would fit.  I figured, why not.  I had an hour to kill and nothing to loose.  I ditched my street clothes and got out the dress.

It was as if that dress was made for me.  It fit perfectly.  It was even the exact length……….. and usually everything is too long for me because I am only 5′6″.  This was too bizarre.  The first dress I try on, and it fits.  Under the dress in the bag I find another bag, in it contains the crinolin slip…… everything to complete the look.

I had to call my friend who was going to make me a dress, Rochelle.  Could a dress be made for $$ (what this cost)?  It would work out to be about even.  Surely it would be cheaper to make a dress……….. not really.  The two worked out about equally.

I need a 2nd opinion…………… another girls opinion.  My friend and her mom will be getting out of work soon.  I call Karla and ask if they can stop by the store and give me some feedback.  They agree.  I am relieved……. and feeling a bit like a princess all dressed up in a wedding gown in the 2nd hand store.

Fast forward about an hour and a half ————>  I wait while they run a couple errands around town…….. just chilling at the store, donning full out bridal gear.  At this point I am in jewelry too, and heels……. just waiting.  La-tee-dah.

Finally they show up, and exclaim that I look beautiful!  Exactally what I needed to hear.  Music to my ears.  Now my soul could rest and I could buy the dress with ease.  Someone that knew my personality say a bit of myself in it.  This I like.  This makes me happy.

I undress quickly and put back on my jeans…………… and pack the dress up to head to my house.

Another thing on the to-do list crossed off…………… another day down, another day closer to wedded bliss.

To see pics of the dress, copy & paste this link in a new window……….. will post actual pictures later……….|-49998998|-49995489&catentryId=6096907&sort=

trust me…………… you want to see it, it’s beautiful!


Last night Prince Charming & I stayed the night at our friends Rochelle & Matt’s house.  It is beautiful……….. and we had so much fun!  Imagine the eccletic contemporary, mixed with everything vintage, splashed with bold colors, and chalk board walls………….. toss in a lot of owls and vintage deer, and you get amazing wonderment that is their home.  To top it off we did some beautiful bridal dress pictures in their home.  I will be posting them as soon as they are edited.  Vintage hats, a turquoise vintage typewriter, brass knuckles, a silly mask, unique umbrellas…………… toss in my tattoos and the wedding dress & crinoline underneath.  With bare feet and pearls.  They are great.  I can’t wait to show you folks!

Bad news on the venue…….  the hall I was hoping for is booked on the weekend we want.  I am moving on to choice number two, playing a vicious game of phone tag hoping for a call back soon and an open space.  maybe this one won’t be zoned residential and noise won’t have to stop at 10pm.  One can only hope.  I am also waiting for a call back from a small art gallery in town.  It used to be a church, so it is a big two story building with the cathedral ceilings and such……  but it is decorated fun & funky like.  I’d really like to have it someplace like that if it will fit the budget.  Time will tell on that one.  If I can’t get it, we’ll make the hall look bad ass.

Other than that, not much is going on………… just another manic Monday…………… er, wait…………. it’s Friday.  My lady is coming this weekend………. super excited.  I haven’t seen her in about a week and a half and I miss her like crazy.  This weekend is also Taylor’s birthday party.  My other lady is turning 6! Woo-hoo! Time to celebrate.

So many wonderful things happening this year, one can’t help but feel blessed.

Anyway- I am off to take a bubble bath and think about doing the dishes.  Somehow in my own little world, that counts as housework.  After all, they always say it’s the thought that counts.

I said "Yes to the Dress" and then Changed My Mind!!!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

I am THAT girl.  The girl who had thought about her wedding since she knew what a wedding was, and who had already planned all of the details by the time she was 15 (of course, at 15 years old, it did seem pretty cool to have the New Kids on the Block play live at my wedding!).  Needless to say, when I finally got engaged, I was super excited to start the planning process.  More than anything else, I could not wait to go dress shopping!  I will admit, that I was a little bit nervous because I LOVE to shop and I LOVE clothes, however, I am a little quirky when it comes to certain things.  I knew all along that I wanted something that would be jaw dropping, but really unique.  And I worried whether or not I would find what I was looking for.

When it finally became time to look for my dress I went to the mecca of wedding dress stores: Kleinfelds!  That’s right, the actual “Say Yes to the Dress” store.  Keeping with tradition, I brought along my mom and my sister for support.  My mother…not much of a help.  After all, she would tell me that I looked beautiful wearing a burlap sack.  My sister, on the other hand, was more the voice of reason, being somewhat of a style guru.  The only problem was that my sister was very much a traditionalist, and tended to stay away from dresses that were even remotely “different.”  Her own beautiful Ream Acra wedding gown with the beaded bodice and satin A-line skirt, was totally her, but totally NOT me.

Dress shopping, as it turned out, became the thorn in my shopaholic side.  Nothing bummed me out more than trying on hundreds of dresses and never once getting that feeling that you are supposed to feel when you finally found “the one.”  I wanted chills, goosebumps – to never want to take my dress off and wear it out of the store!  But all I ever felt was “blah.”  Not only did my heart never skip a beat, but it sank! And I actually started dreading going shopping!! Don’t get me wrong, I definitely found some beautiful dresses that looked fantastic on me – but they just were not “the” dress.  Eight stores and at least 8 dozen dresses later, and I had just about given up!

During this depressing process I had found one dress that I absolutely fell in love with!  Just a few issues:  1) It was $10,000 dollars.  Yes, you read that right!  2) It was very slinky and almost nightgowny, which was beautiful, except a part of me kinda thought that on the day of my wedding, the one day that I could go over the top and be a total princess, I wasn’t sure if that was the direction that I wanted to go in (now if I was rich enough to afford TWO dresses, this would have totally, without a doubt, been my second dress of the night!).  3) You fully needed the body of a runway model to pull it off, and lets just say, my daily forced gym routine did not have me in that type of shape quite yet (if ever!).  Nonetheless, the Badley Mischka gown sat in the far corner of my brain, but eventually I realized that it, too, was not “the” one!

THE dress

Badgley Mischka

Eventually, what began as my most exciting quest,  finding my wedding dress!!! became the most annoying and miserable experience of the entire wedding planning process.  I should have known – everything else had gone so smoothly; the reception hall, the band, the florist – all fantastic and EASY experiences.  Clearly something had to go wrong at some point.  And so, here I was, having looked in every single store in the NY area, and I had nothing!

I eventually decided to go back to Kleinfelds.  After all, it had been my first stop and it had the biggest selection, and now so many dresses later, at least I had a better idea of what I was looking for, so why not go back to the place where they had everything?  My appointment was for Tuesday night at 7 pm.  The last appointment of the day.  I had work (I am an elementary school teacher) and then I was working the after-school program until 5 pm.  My mom was going to pick me up from work and my best friend was going to come into the city with us (this was the only appt that my sister was unable to attend).  By the time I was headed into the city, I was exhausted, had a migraine, and apparently (as I would later find out) a slight fever!

They don’t rush you at Kleinfelds, but obviously I felt like I could not spend 2 hours there and force them to stay open for me.  Besides, I was STARVING and feeling ill.  I wanted to go home, badly.  At this point, I really and truly just didn’t care.  I let my mom and my friend go to town and pull dresses for me to try on.  Ugly, ugly, uglier.  Finally, the last dress of the night, and I was ready to put it on, take it off, go eat something and succumb to the fact that I would be wearing a t-shirt and jeans down the aisle.  I was d-o-n-e!  The rest is a blur.  I remember putting the last dress on.  I remember my mom and best friend oohing and aahing, and I remember thinking “I seriously do not give a shit anymore” and the words “fine, I’ll take it” coming out of my mouth.  Tears were flowing (my mom and friend of excitement, me of relief to be getting out of there) and next thing I knew, my measurements were taken and down-payment made – and I had my dress.  Relief!  Now I never would have to look at another dress again.  Thank goodness!

Or so I thought.

Weeks started to fly by and before I knew it, I was approaching 6 months until the big day.  During this time, I began to have recurring nightmares that would literally make me jump awake covered in sweat!  Every nightmare featured me at my wedding in a horrendous wedding gown.  Eventually I started to panic.  Deep down I knew that I had made a mistake.  What was worse, was that I didn’t even have a picture of the dress I had bought.  The designer was exclusive to Kleinfelds and they did not have a picture of this specific dress on their website.  I didn’t even remember what it looked like!!  The bits and pieces of the dress that did stand out in my mind formed together to create what I imagined was a Madonna “Like a Virgin” dress, circa 1985.  I felt bad saying anything to my mother since she had paid for my dress, but after months of nightmares I finally called my sister hysterically crying and told her that I was pretty sure that I hated my dress.

My sister tried to calm me down and suggested that I make an appointment to go try my dress on again and she would meet me there.  She was certain that I was just having cold feet, and that upon trying on the dress again, I would realize how much I loved it.  I told her that I knew for a fact that it was a disaster, but that I would meet her there just to prove it to her.  Unbeknowest to me, my mother had given my sister specific instructions that she was to tell me the dress was stunning and convince me that it was perfect.

It was a beautiful day in April when I went to meet my sister at Kleinfelds.  I had arrived a little before her and was waiting inside for her when I saw it.  My Dress!  No, not my dress, not the one I had already bought, but MY dress, the one I was destined to own.  There it was, adorning the mannequin and calling out to me.  Everything I had been looking for was right there!  I needed to try on that dress.  My sister had barely made it through the door and I was pulling her towards it: “That’s it, THAT is the dress I am supposed to wear.  Look at it!!!”  I was giddy!  The woman came to get me for my appointment and I told her that I wanted to try on “that dress right there.”  This did not immediately go over well because apparently the appoinment that I had was just for me to try on the dress that I had already bought, and not for me to “try on a bunch of new dresses.”  Apparently the craziness in my eyes began to show because after I told them that I was, in fact, going to be trying on “the ugly dress that I had already purchased as well as the beautiful dress on that mannequin”, they relented and allowed me to try on just that one.

In the dressing room, with my sister next to me, I satisfied everyone and tried on the dress I had already purchased first.  Upon seeing the lace, beading, and overall matronly shape (which did look very much like the Madonna dress, if Madonna had been in her 60’s when she had taped the video) I began to cry hysterially.  It was everything I had imagined, and worse.  I would NOT be wearing this dress to my wedding!  My sister tried, pathetically, to tell me that it was beautiful, but even i could see the absolute horror in her eyes.  I could not get that dress off of me fast enought.  With a little sigh, they helped me into the other dress I had demanded to try on.  As they laced up the corset back, i felt it.  IT.  That feeling!  The feeling of numbness in my fingertips, intense excitement and goosebumps.  This was it!  There was no denying it.  This was the dress I had been looking for.  One look at me in the dress and my sister picked up her phone and called my mother.  “I can’t even lie to her, mom”, she said, “there is just no comparison.”  We both knew it.  I had to have this dress even if it meant that I take out a loan and buy both of them!  Luckily the dress I fell in love with was made by the same designer, however, they would have to get in touch with her to see whether or not they had already began cutting and putting together my original dress.  I would have to wait a week to find out whether or not I was out of the money we had put down already.  Fortunately, everything worked out, and 6 months before my wedding I picked out a brand new dress that I loved!!

(I tried to find a picture online of the dress that I had originally bought, but STILL can’t find one!  But here is a picture of the dress I fell in love with…and eventually wore to my wedding!!)

The dress I fell in love with!

So girls – TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and never, ever settle!