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Our Not so Perfect First Dance.

In the era of viral videos we have all seen the “best first dance ever”. We’ve seen the bride and groom hit the quan, drop it like its hot and do the nay nay. We’ve seen the wedding party “surprise” the guests and join the bride and groom in the fun. We’ve witnessed the guests go crazy and we’ve seen the videos rack up millions of views and shares.

While planning our wedding I was petrified by the idea of a first dance. The mere thought of swaying back in forth in a room full of family and friends literally kept me from wanting a wedding. I’m not even joking. I had joked about doing a choreographed dance before, but my husband really wasn’t into it. I would watch first dance videos on YouTube and ask myself “where the hell did they learn this?!” About four months before the wedding I started researching dance studios. I had no idea where to start. I came up empty handed time and time again and I decided to turn to Facebook. I asked a question on a local group and within minutes I was pointed in the direction of A Perfect Wedding Dance Studio. Did you know wedding dance studios were a thing? Me either. It’s actually a pretty big business. People have been having their first dance choreographed well before they started going viral, who’d a thought.

I reached out to Kim and we scheduled our free consult. Instantly I fell in love. I loved the idea of dancing again (I danced as a child) and Kim was a pleasure to work with. She worked with our crazy schedule and was so much fun! My husband had never danced before and really wasn’t feeling it, at first. We were supposed to have 11 lessons. 11 lessons turned into a lot more, I think we all lost count. We went back and forth between music mix ideas, the dance we had spent weeks learning or something else. In the end we ended up sticking with the dance we had spent the time learning. We originally had a guest list of 50+ and the idea of a music mix was fun. It wasn’t until a month or so before the wedding when the guest list dropped in half that we decided there wasn’t much of a point to put on a show for 20 people.

My husband picked the music. Originally I wanted to go with an Ed Shereen song, you know, one of the ones that is constantly on the radio. I am so glad we went in a different direction. James picked a classic; Otis Redding’s “I’ve been loving you”. The song was so bluesy and had a nice feel. It grew on me over the course of our lessons and it’s now a personal favorite. We practiced and practiced and by the last lesson we were ready. Kim and her husband actually filmed the wedding for us, we were so excited to have her there during the big moment!

It wasn’t until we began dancing that the moment became less then perfect. It was the WRONG version of the song. Yeah….. the worst thing that could happen, happened. Let me tell you, our dance was slow with the version of the song we picked. The version the DJ played, was slow times 10. At this point we are in the middle of our big moment. All of the time, energy and money we had put into was on the line. My husband was done with it before we were in 30 seconds, you can totally tell when you watch the video. It took everything I had to keep him from quitting. Our guests knew it was the wrong song… we couldn’t stop saying it. What were we supposed to do? We couldn’t stop and ask the DJ to start over. We couldn’t just stop dancing. So, we made the best of it. We talked through it and even laughed about it. We looked like fools.

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When the torture finally ended, we laughed it off. Dinner started and our big moment was over, just like that. We gave the guests a show, though not what I had envisioned, they enjoyed it; at least I hope they did. I never told the DJ it was the wrong song and I will still recommend him to anyone that asks. I didn’t get mad or upset, I didn’t cry about it, I just went with it. At least I didn’t torture my guests with 3 minutes of high school slow dancing.

If we could go back and do it all over again, I would. I would do it all exactly as we did. I enjoyed every single second of our lessons. Even the moments of bickering and wanting to give up. I grew closer to my husband over the 4 months or so of lessons. We got out of the house and spent time together. I was able to break away from the chaos of wedding planning and have some us time. One thing I would do, is listen to the DJ’s version of the song instead of assuming it was the same.

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If you are planning a wedding, don’t skip the dance lessons. Even if you have 1 or 2, do it. You’ll thank me later. Make time for this some way or another, find room in your budget. Unless you and your fiance are some sort of magical dance guru; you need dance lessons. Just make sure your DJ plays the right song.

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James and I grew to love Kim. She was a blast. She helped me with the wedding planning, recommended vendors and kept my mind at ease throughout it all. When it was all over with and Tuesday rolled around, we were sad we weren’t headed to dance lessons. It is a time we will never forget and we couldn’t have asked for a better, less then perfect, first dance.

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Uncategorized, Weddings

A Stylish Groom: on a Budget.

In the world of Pinterest and wedding blogs I was consumed with the idea of a dapper groom. I mean, what bride-to-be hasn’t swooned over the thousands of picture perfect grooms floating around the inter-web? We were planning our wedding on a small budget but I couldn’t settle when it came to the look of my groom. The suit wasn’t something I started planning until a couple months before the big day. I knew the look I wanted but I had not idea how difficult finding it would be.

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Neither of us had ever shopped for a suit so we had no idea where to start. We took a trip into Men’s Warehouse to get a feel of what we were working with and to get my husband sized. The salesmen was good, I mean real good. He put my now husband in a suit that was perfect, or so we thought. My now husband fell in love with the suit, but with a $600 price tag, it cost more then my dress! Men’s Warehouse offers suit rentals so that was our next avenue. It died before it even became a real option. They offered one suit in blue, one; and it was bad.  At $200+ each suit to rent I knew there was a better option out there.

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James is a bigger guy. Finding him a suit that was fashionable and not in stretch material was like pulling teeth. Can I take a moment and bitch about “big and tall” clothing?! Us plus size women think we have it tough! Our struggles do not even begin to compare. Shopping for a larger man is a frustrating and sad task. There are very little stores that carry extended sizes and when they do they are either ridiculously priced or terribly unfashionable. Anyways, JCPenney’s was our savior. If you weren’t aware, like myself, JCpenney’s has an entire suit line. Including BIG AND TALL! Praise the shopper gods.

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I decided to give it a shot and buy the suit online. Now, let me break it down for you. I got James’ suit jacket, pants, shoes and belt for $215.37 with FREE shipping. Awesome, right?! I saved $308.63. Extreme couponing wedding addition. I got lucky and ordered everything while it was on-sale AND there was an online coupon. Have you looked for a nice pair of leather oxfords before? They are EXPENSIVE !

We weren’t sure how the suit was going to fit so we ordered two different styles and returned what didn’t work. James ended up looking best in the Big and Tall jacket and the Portly fit pants. JCPenney’s makes the same suit in different styles that fit slightly different, so it worked out perfectly for James’ body type.

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I splurged a little for the vest. There wasn’t a size available in the suit style so I had to figure out another option. When it comes to matching blues it’s a lot more difficult then you’d think.  Too dark or too light James goes from dapper to tacky quicker then we could say I Do. If you weren’t aware Men’s Warehouse has a clearance section online. I ordered a few different styles and colors to see what went the best with the navy jacket.He ended up liking a casual style wool vest with a slight plaid pattern. It was to die for. We got the Joseph Abboud vest for $74.99, a little on the pricey side but considering it is going for $94.99 right now on their website, it was worth it. We had the vest tailored the day BEFORE the wedding. Men’s Warehouse was able to fit him and have it altered in less then 24 hours. It was a life saver. I couldn’t fathom paying more then $15 bucks for a tie. I ended up getting James’ Jones New York tie from TJ Maxx for under $10 bucks.

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When it was all said and done, James looked better then I had envisioned; and for a fraction of the price. I brought to life those infamous Pinterest posts and got my dapper groom.

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Here’s the whole breakdown:

  • Joseph Abboud Navy Plaid Modern Fit Vest: $74.99 Orig. $94.99
  • Stafford Travel Suit Jacket- Big and Tall: $78.75 Orig $235.00
  • Stafford Travel Suit Pants-Portly Fit: $41.24 Orig $115.00
  • Stafford Travel Wrinkle-Free Oxford Dress Shirt-Big and Tall in Cloudburst: $22.49 Orig $50.00
  • Stacy Adams Garrison Men’s Wingtip Oxfords: $52.49 Orig $90.00

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on the little details. Pinterest, Instagram, wedding blogs and so on, make it seem impossible to have a stylish budget friendly wedding. It’s not. Take some time and you can have the wedding of your dreams just like I did.

 

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