Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Tunes

We are music people. The only time I think I've given you a peek into this other passion of mine was in this "What's under your bed" post from last year. I revealed that there are about 10 CD cases full of live recordings dating back to the 1960s under my bed. We will travel great distances and endure some pretty interesting conditions for great music.

Wait in line for hours to ensure our caravan of friends can camp together in the middle of a field lacking in shade, water, and basic necessities? Why not?

The genre of music we like has a lot of improvisation. A song is never played the same way twice. We're never eager for a new studio album to be released (though we usually buy them to support our favorite artists), but are extremely excited to see each concert's setlist develop (people often report setlist updates by text or Twitter).

Drink wine out of a bag with a stranger while listening to New Orleans funk on a mountaintop in West Virginia?
Yes, please.

We love live music so much that when we first started talking about our wedding, we were positive that we'd have a live band playing the entire night.

Then, I started thinking about how we can cite specific versions of specific songs as our favorites. I started to think about how talented some of the bands we like are and how hard they are to cover. Not to say there aren't some great bands in our area, but I had my doubts about them doing justice to songs that hold memories for us.

Walk around the parking lots outside our favorite venue dressed as said venue? Hilarious!
Bonus points to anyone who knows the nick name for that venue.

We decided that we needed a DJ. I scoured Wedding Wire (a site where brides review their vendors), checked wedding blogs for Charlottesville weddings to see who still more brides used at their weddings, and polled friends on Facebook and Twitter (Jen on the Edge suggested a little hometown band called the Dave Matthews Band, but I hear they're taking a year off). I emailed back and forth with a few folks and set up one meeting with Derek Tobler, the one I thought would be a top choice.

Going into the meeting, I just wanted to make sure Derek was okay with playing our music. I didn't need him to like our music or be overly familiar with it. I just wanted him to be okay with playing some live versions of the songs that were really, really important to use (our entrance song and our first dance song). When he told us that he was in a band when he lived in California (I believe he was in the horn section), we were pleased. He wasn't just a fan of music, he was a musician. When he told us he had seen our favorite band a few times in the 90s and was happy to play live versions, we were overjoyed. We left that meeting smiling like someone had just handed us puppies and ice cream cones.

Now, we still wanted some live music at the wedding and we decided that we'd hire musicians for our ceremony and cocktail hour. That piece is still being developed, but we're really excited for what we have planned. More on that next time.

When I asked advice about bands vs. DJs online, I was surprised by how passionate some people are on the issue. Where do you stand? If you're married, did you have a band or a DJ at your reception? Why?
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Charlottesville Craigslist Alert!

Someone is moving and has some pretty sweet items up for sale on the local Craigslist. I'm assuming that the mention of a "graduation moving sale" in each listing means these are all coming from the same place. What's more, items from these companies don't come up on the little ol' Charlottesville Craigslist. I don't think there's been an item by Bernhardt on Craigslist since I sold my TV armoire a few years ago.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Taken over!

Wedding thoughts, plans, and research has taken over my mind. Please tell me this will pass! I so wanted to do some home projects this month and I now realize that the month is almost over and everything looks the same as it was at the beginning.

Maybe if I hurry up and book all of our vendors, I'll be able to spend more time with my relaxing hobby...painting. As I frantically searched options for ceremony and cocktail hour musicians (I'm not really into the ultra traditional, so the search has been fruitless so far) while trying to each my lunch today, I realized that I would really love to have a paint brush in my hands. I think I'm going to have to carve out some time this weekend for some painting to calm me down a little bit.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Organic Bloom frames

A few months ago, Charlottesville photographer Amy Benoit, who operates Sweet Pea Photography, posted pictures of some beautiful frames on her blog. I immediately asked if I could share them on my blog because I liked them so much.

They're called Organic Bloom frames. Made in Tulsa, OK, they are sold through independent photographers. Amy happens to be my local source for the frames.

Check out these pictures from the Organic Bloom blog of their warehouse:

Clearly, there's a lot of work that goes into each of these frames!

Here are a few pictures from Organic Bloom's Facebook page...there are some pretty creative applications of these things. Some are even being used as ipad frames!

I loved this set of stacked frames. I never thought to stack frames.

Aren't they great? I bet you could DIY these if you had a good saw and some patience!

No compensation here...I just thought these were pretty and wanted to share them.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Part 4

Back in March, I wrote about a unconventional furniture shopping at the closing of the London's Apothecary store in Downtown Charlottesville (they are still open at another location). I posted pictures of some store fixtures that were for sale. Some of them were quite substantial.

There are two matching pieces there, sitting back-to-back.

Most of the fixtures were sold when I was there and I wondered who was hauling off the matching set above. On Sunday, I got the answer.

I shared interior pictures of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards on Tuesday, but said I was leaving out pictures of the hallway that connects the tasting room to the large space used for receptions. Here they are...

I had to smile when I saw them. I love that these weren't antiques found abroad or custom pieces newly made. They were found right here in Charlottesville.

Don't they look great?

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Part 3

Here's the third installment of my little Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards series. On Monday, I shared exterior shots of the vineyard. On Tuesday, I took you through the tasting room and Granery, where receptions and parties will be held. Today, I'm going to show you the bridal suite.

These interiors are by Charlottesville's John Sarah John.

To the right of the entrance is a large bathroom , but beyond that is a beautiful three-way mirror. Isn't that pretty?

In the far corner is a closet area with a sink. There are enough sinks and mirrors for an army of bridesmaids to get ready.

The middle of the room has a sofa, chairs, and benches on which to relax. Don't you love that coffee table?

The vanity area...

A pretty chaise...

This custom armoire is just to the left of the main entrance. I think this was built just for those shots of wedding gowns hanging up on pretty hangers.

The view from the chaise lounge, looking toward towards the three-way mirror:

I love the light fixtures!

At your back when you enter are doors that open up to a balcony that overlooks the reception area.

Isn't it beautiful? I love it!
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: A last look at Church Street Bridal

I thought I'd show you some dresses from Church Street Bridal next to the runway versions, along with prices. I didn't have time to track every dress down, but here are a few...

I would personally take those little ribbons off.

Aren't you impressed?

Church Street Bridal
626 Church Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
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Wedding Wednesday: More from Church Street Bridal

This morning, I showed you a slew of pictures of wedding gowns I found at Church Street Bridal in Lynchburg last weekend. I thought I'd continue with some pictures from "Church Street Bridal, Too." The second store is in the basement of the Y building and it has mother-of-the-bride dresses, bridesmaids gowns, and prom dresses.

Most of these dresses were $50. Most were size 10, the sample size. Remember that bridal sizes are generally two "steps" above the vanity sizes used at most stores these days. A bridal 10 translates to a size 6 at the mall.

They warned me that they rarely get duplicates of bridesmaid gowns because they get so many samples. The exception is when a group places an order and cancels it. There was only one "set" of bridesmaids gowns in there when I visited on Saturday.

So many brides these days give their 'maids a color and let each individual girl pick her own dress, so I don't think the lack of an entire size run in a dress would be a turn off to too, too many people.

There is also a prom section, but I didn't think to look at the labels or price tags there. Oops!

There was one Pnina Tornai dress in the basement store that was probably best suited for a mother-of-the-bride. I don't remember how much it was selling for a Church Street Bridal, but I think it's safe to say it will be no where near the retail price you'd pay at Kleinfeld.

The basement and a mezzanine have scores of clearance bridal dresses. I didn't spent much time looking through the clearance racks (by this point, I was so tired!), but the staff member who was showing me around said that they are marked as low as $50. Some need to be cleaned or mended, but so do some of the dresses in the main part of the store.

There were some "lesser" name brands in the clearance section as well.

Did I mention that they have accessories, too? They had dozens of veils, from short, poufy ones to long, lacy mantillas.

They had some shoes, too.
These Martinez Valero shoes in white (size 8 1/2, I tried them) and pink.
They're asking $35 for them.

They had a few hair pieces and a sash or two.

The wedding gowns are the main event at Church Street Bridal, but you could definitely dress yourself from head to toe in beautiful things on a very modest budget here.

I believe they are having a 20% off sale this weekend because they are closing a third location that was down the street. Give them a call to verify if you are tempted to go down there.

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