.the story behind the dress, part 2.


In yesterday's post, I shared with you part 1 of my dress drama. Here is part two. I ended up buying the Jovani Cowl Back dress:

At my endocrinologist visit in July, my blood work confirmed that my C-peptide was .8, which is the bare minimum it can be before requiring full-time insulin. My previous reading was 1.2, so it was declining and I was put on insulin shots. Within a few weeks, I was up eight pounds. By the time my gown arrived in mid-September, I was up about 12 pounds. Scroll back up and see how slim and slinky that dress is.... yea, no room for anyone to gain 12 ounces, yet alone pounds. But never fear, I still have seven months until the wedding and can easily lose that weight. Ahem.... if you've never been on insulin before, you won't understand. But it is a fat producing hormone. And fat, it produced. I continued to gain weight until at least late December.

I first tried on the dress in September with K-Zilla when we also tried on the Zillaz dress. Yea, there was evidence of a weight gain, but it wasn't of worry yet. Matter of fact, we celebrated this day with pizza, afterward.

Even with working out, the weight didn't fall off. I will admit to this: knowing that I can now eat more than 30-45 carbs, I actually started to eat real pasta and enjoy me some more sweets. Yea, I took advantage of my insulin pen.

Long story short.... I worked out insanely and the true test came MLK weekend in January 2010. I was having a "Zillaz" day, the morning belonging to K-Zilla and the afternoon belonging to M-Zilla. It was M-Zilla who was with me at Nordstrom when we tried on undergarments and the dress. Sadly, it was a disaster. Not fully because of my weight gain, but there is no room for any undergarments. The seams were showing, the line where it ended above my knee was showing. It was a nightmare. With four months until the wedding, I knew that sure, the weight could come off, but was it worth the stress? Not to me. So M-Zilla and I walked briskly to Jessica McClintock and tried on some dresses. I worked at Fashion Show for months while I was engaged and never once tried on any of her dresses. Odd, because they are amazing. I thought they were out of my budget, they aren't. Wait until I tell you how much I paid for my dress, in the end.

So I tried on a few and these two were the contenders. I loved this one shoulder gown and I know that Mr. Nearlywed loves me in one shoulder garments. I didn't like the way it photographed. Granted, this was a point-and-shoot camera. Forgive my poor posture. This gown was $2,000-it was a one-of-a-kind couture gown. Gorgeous.

But then I loved this one... it was simple, yet fun and would go with fun & fab shoes and the veil that I had in mind. The price tag on this one was just over $400.

If you've seen even one wedding photo, then you know I chose the above dress. The coolest thing was that I told virtually no one, except Mr. Nearlywed, M-Zilla and a few others who were not related to the wedding. The shock came to them on the wedding day.

So now that you know my dress mess, how did I do?

.the story behind the dress.


For as long as I've been blogging on this site, my wedding dress was a huge source of stress. I can finally, two months after the wedding, share all with you. Yes, I could have done this sooner, but I must say this-- the wedding wore me out. It seemed like recovery was nowhere in sight at times. But here I am, to recap everything from the wedding. Let's start with my dress.

When I started out, I didn't have a budget, but in my head, I knew that spending over $1,200 on a dress (and even that was pushing it) would eat me alive. But I still tried on Elizabeth Filmore, Amy Michaelson, Vera Wang and more. They all look maaaahhhvelous. And I loved the silk charmeuse on my skin. So at one point, I went to a seamstress and took her this love of my then bride-to-be life. It is Taj Mahal by Amy Michelson. It retailed for about $3,800 at Kleinfelds. Which, by the way, shopping there is ground for a whole other blog.

Here is the dress, courtesy of AmyMichelson.com

Gorgeous, huh? After trying on this gem, of which there are no photos courtesy of Kleinfeld's rules, which we respected, I needed a sexy back dress. I wanted to hear my guests gasp after I passed them while walking down the aisle. But I refused to pay that much. It was a new dress, from the fall 2009 line, so there weren't any for sale. I also found some from Winnie Couture that had the open back and they came in my price range, around $1,200.

This is the Winne Couture "Giada" dress. I wasn't able to try it on, the only store in Vegas who carried the line wouldn't order a sample. Silly, because I probably would have bought it. So...at this point we moved on.

Come June, my sister, my six-week-old niece and I went dress shopping. Again. We turned up at a little shack-on-the-road called Tina's Bridal in Totowa, NJ. When we pulled up, I almost told her to turn around, it was that much of a shack looking place. But we went in, smart move. What I would like to say most about Tina's is that we had an appointment to look at bridesmaids dresses, but when I asked if I could see their bridal gowns, they didn't even bat an eyelash and 100 percent accommodated us. And in the end, I bought a dress there.

I wasn't looking for poofy, I didn't want any skirt underneath and then I came across two gems there. One was a "Destination" label by.... I don't even remember. Darn. This was the dress. Of course, I wanted to open the back and make some adjustments to it....

Then, there was this beauty by Jovani. I had to slide into and hold my breath. However, wearing it on my wedding was of no concern. I was the thinnest I had pretty much ever been, with no intent on gaining weight, so I was good to go in this looker. I loved the back and how vintage it looked. I pictured a glamorous walk down the aisle, posing for photos with my chin just coming over my shoulder. And my body? It would be bangin'! It was June and I had 10 months to firm up and rock this dress. Apparently, my pancreas had other plans in the weeks to come.

This is what it is supposed to look like on the model who needs to be fed a steak.

So there you have it, my dress loves.... I went from loving a $3,800 gown to not being able to try on a $1,200 gown to deciding between a $400 and a $350 gown. I ended up buying the Jovani gown.... we had it ordered in a size bigger than the sample shown in the above photos. As you can tell, it was a bit snug. I was thrilled to buy my wedding dress in a size six. As someone who battled weight my whole life, this was a huge accomplishment. However, I would only be able to bask in that glory for a few short weeks.

What happened? The rest in my next post. Which will not be in six weeks. I am going to write it now.

By the way, I have the Jovani dress in my hands and am willing to part with it. If anyone is interested please message me.

.the wedding.


Readers... wow.... does anyone still even read this anymore? Sheesh. Shame on me. Life got in my way and completely halted my blogging. However, with the wedding weeks behind us already, I can catch up and fill you in.

First, the wedding was amazing. Period, new line.

Recaps are in progess....but in the meantime, here is a teaser or two....

.wedding recap 1: .the week prior.

Well… let me rewind to the month prior. March 27th was my East Coast shower. It was fabulous. My mom hosted it at her house and about 15 of our relatives attended. They are mostly my aunts and moms cousins, but they’ve all been married for 33+ years, so to hear their advice was priceless.

The day after, my dad and I loaded up his truck and hit the road for Vegas, 2,496 miles and 41 hours later…. Here we were.

It was the first time that our dogs were together in over two years. They were the reason we met, so it was great to have them together.

With three and a half weeks to go until the wedding, we had to finish packing our house and move. Yes, the sale on our home that we owned went through and we were told to be out by April 30th. Uhhh… so we chose to move on April 3rd. My dad was here and was a priceless piece to this move. He was gung-ho for it… I would have been too if I lived in the same house for almost 40 years. However, both Flo and I knew what we were about to experience. We were moving from a single story to a two-story home…. The new crib is fabulous and we have a huge yard and the home is perfect for entertaining. That is great for me because almost everything we registered for is an entertaining piece.

So the first two and a half weeks of April were spent packing, unpacking, fixing up things, running wedding errands and trying to show my dad a good time in Vegas. We took him to Mix 94.1’s “Pet-A-Palooza” and ran into some good friends with their dogs… we even made the evening news! ;)

We took him to the “Vegas Dozen” party at Saks Fifth Avenue… we ate all of the Manchego cheese. And drank. A lot. It was fun. No photos were taking at this event.

And then on the 17th, we picked my mom, sister and niece up from the airport. This, to us, truly kicked off wedding week, since this was the start of the guests arriving! My uncle and the best man arrived on Monday. Tuesday we hosted a “Ster is cooking BBQ” and entertained in our new home for the first time. We had some of Flo’s BFFs over, the Zillaz and my family. It was just a sign of the good times to come. I loved every second of it.

Wednesday started the Bachelor activities… Flo rented a Fantasy Suite at The Palms hotel... I worked… and packed. It looks like the guys had an amazing time… who couldn’t?

Thursday was my bachelorette party. We reserved a cabana at the JW Marriott Pool and had plans to sit out in the sun and have some fun. It rained and was 56 degrees. In Las Vegas. In April. What are the chances? The weather didn’t dampen our fun; they moved us to a suite, we ate, we drank and we talked. What more can one bride want? My Zillaz treated me to a wonderful Vichy scrub, which I do not recommend after drinking. It was hard to not want to pass out in all of the heat and steam… but it made my skin ready for the spray tan. Three of the Zillaz and I got in-room spray tans for the wedding. Getting it two days before the wedding allowed us enough time to let it set, wash it off, etc. Well, I looked dirty in our Thursday meet and greet photos… oh well. I didn’t have to wear makeup or a bra, both of which I quite enjoyed.

Thursday also came with one heckuva tired groom, but his tiredness was no match for my blazing bridal stress. Actually, I wasn’t overly stressed once we got to the hotel and got settled. But his tiredness was no match for my to-do list. We had invited our out of town guests over for a little “meet and greet” party. Our party didn’t consist of much food, just some homemade chocolate sauce from Budelia’s Chocolate… I ordered six jars. They were delivered to one of Flo’s co-workers who was kind enough to bring them to me, except she didn’t know that we ordered six jars and she brought one. We made it work. Ironically, my dad’s friend sent us an Edible Arrangements fruit basket and it worked out perfectly. We served that, pretzels, the jar of sauce and tons of beer, wine, water and soda. It was actually quite fun.

Friday…. The day that I had set aside for Flo and me to relax and enjoy. We woke up, munched on whatever stash of food that we had in our room. Wait, Flo ran off to go do something... because I remember calling him and telling him that we needed to head to the spa at a certain time. Bridal Brain, it affected me. We had a spa appointment at noon for a couples massage. I had also booked a manicure and pedicure. When I checked in for the appointment, the mani and pedi wasn’t scheduled. It was my first “bridezilla” moment because in my head, I knew that my snaggle toe nails were in no condition to walk down any aisle without being groomed or painted. This is where the JW highly impressed me. It was a Friday, they were busy and booked. The spa hostess with the mostest told us to go and have our massages and that they would take care of it. So we did. It was 50 minutes of pure bliss; it was THE best massage that I had ever received. When we were finished, my mani and pedi were scheduled. Not just for me, but for Flo too. Wow.

While at the spa, I bumped into the fabulous, amazing Andeen of Hair By Andeen. She would be spending the nite with the Zillaz to get us ready for the wedding, but she took some time to enjoy the spa, the sun, the pool and get some much, way deserved R&R. She looked so fabulous. Every day she inspires me to become a better person.

And then…we head into the rehearsal….

.the bridal shower. .part 1.


The Bridal Shower- I’ve been dreaming of it since starting my registry. Back in July. Yes, we probably registered too early and for too many items, but this is the one time that you can ask for any and everything with the hope that maybe you will get half.

For my bridesmaids, I know that setting this up was difficult. The Maid of Honor lives in New Jersey, the shower was in Vegas. There are two Zillaz who live in Vegas but didn’t want to step on the toes of the MOH. In the end, it was more than I could have hoped for myself. The food was amazing, I had 20-some friends and extended family there… my sis and mom sent me flowers, which made me cry.

The gifts were awesome- it made me realize how well my friends do know me! I got almost all of my wine glasses, the tea infuser, the kitchen tools…. It was wonderful. After welcoming everyone, I said a few words and meant it. The weather was perfect- upper 60s and sunny, it was a Saturday afternoon. My friends could have taken their dogs and/or kids to the park and instead, they spent the afternoon with me! It was fabulous, I was touched.

My Zillaz got me an amazing gift- the Wine Enthusiast Wine Fridge! I couldn’t believe it! It was delivered right to me a few weeks back, but I didn’t know from who it was. Apparently there is a card in there, but I haven’t opened the box yet. We have NO ROOM for anything right now.

Lucky, spoiled me, I get another shower in Pennsylvania, in March.

.eat. .drink. .be merry.


There are only so many things that people will remember from your wedding- the bride’s dress and the food. Our tasting was last month and we are delighted with our menu options and our signature drinks. Our reception package included two signature drinks and we had to give them four options, which included:

Purple Haze Martini:

* 1 oz. freshly squeezed pomegranate juice* or
POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
* 1 1/2 oz. Hpnotiq
* 1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
* Orange rind and apple slice for garnish

Blushing Bride
1 oz peach schnapps
4 oz Champagne
1 oz grenadine syrup

Romeo and Juliet Cocktail

1.5 oz Absolut Apeach
1/2 oz Gran Marnier
1/4 oz cherry or Chambord raspberry liqueur
2 oz chilled peach juice
maraschino cherries
orange spiral

And one other drink that of blueberry vodka, pineapple, Curacao and a few other ingredients. What did we select? Well, we loved the purple haze and the mystery blue drink! Now, we just need to name them….

The food menu, sooo yummy, I can’t wait for this food:
Cocktail Hour, Passed Hors D’Oeuvers:
Tomato and Mozzarella with Basil and Olive oil on Bruschetta
Minted Mandarin Shrimp on Buttered Brioche
Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mint Sauce
Mini Beef Wellington

Two Hour Dinner, served Buffet Style:
Live Action Pasta Station:
Cheese tortellini and Penne with sauces of Bolognese and Garlic and Wine
With toppings: shrimp, grilled chicken, baby scallops, mushrooms, scallions, onions, peppers, tomatoes, parmesan, garlic, fresh herbs and fresh focaccia bread

Carving Station:
Steamship round and Roast Brest of Turkey

Mashed Potato Bar:
Red Bliss and Yukon Potatoes served with: cheddar cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized Onions, Parmesan cheese, Goat Cheese, roasted garlic, roasted pepper pesto, basil pesto, sun dried tomato pesto

Mixed greens:
Caesar Salad
Mesclun greens tossed with crumbled blue cheese, toasted pine nuts, and dried cherries with balsamic vinaigrette