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Details: Groom’s Attire

My husband knew what he wanted for his wedding day look.

He got his suit from Saks – a wonderful navy Burberry suit, the cut was so great, it almost didn’t need alterations (but of course we needed some minor tweaks – Top Shelf in Uptown did an excellent job). Since he wears suits to work (and owns over a dozen of them), he has a pretty good eye for them, and this one will hopefully be used again for events and maybe work.

The shirt came from Saks – another Burberry number. A great shirt, that he can wear to work or other events.

The tie came from Jos A. Bank – it feels a bit like an old-man shore, but after looking EVERYWHERE for a tie that works, this one was truly the best – and only $40!

The shoes came from… Saks. Again, these can be used again as work attire.

Socks – his dresser drawer. I wanted him to get some fun socks to match the color scheme, but that’s not really his style, so we stuck with navy.


The entire cost was well over $1,000 – which is a lot compared to a tux rental, but totally worth it for these pieces that will hopefully be in his wardrobe for ages.

All photos taken by Laura Ivanova – and cannot be reproduced or used, on the web or otherwise, without permission.

Vendor Review – The DJ

Review grade: A

Our DJ, John from Soundquest Entertainment was SO great to work with. He provided me with several forms, such as a timeline of the evening, favorite songs/types of songs, songs or artists to avoid.

He kept the music at a volume that was great for dancing, but not forcing the older relatives to leave. Their selection of music was pretty spectacular, I had a hard time coming up with something that they didn’t have.

The DJs with Soundquest work in pairs, so if one is on break, you’ve still got someone manning the “station.”

The best part was: John was totally willing to stand up to guests for our desires. We’d requested no chicken dance and no dollar dance. I had a family member begging him to do one, and he refused – until he had the okay from us that we’d be willing to do it.

I’ve been to too many weddings where the bride and grooms wishes aren’t met, and ours was the complete opposite.

I’d honestly, heartily recommend him to any friend or acquaintance looking for a great, energetic (but not annoying) DJ for their wedding or party, and I hope we can find a reason to hire John again.

Oh, and we heard from several relatives that the music was good — and the volume was great.

The price is fair too — 4 hours of entertainment and an hour of dinner music would be only $500.

The Budget: Breakdown

We did a few things to cut costs and ensure we had all the niceties we wanted. Here are our secrets:

Our centerpieces, photos provided by Laura Ivanova

Our centerpieces, photos provided by Laura Ivanova


Painful Beauty – Adventures in Tattoo Removal

When I was younger — under 20, I got a tattoo… and another.. and another.

At the time, I thought they were awesome, now, I don’t feel the same way. Luckily, I’ve got 2 of them hidden on my body (no dirty thoughts, they’re totally viewable when I’m wearing a swim suit), so there’s no need to get them removed right now. I do worry about pregnancy though, they will look beyond disgusting at that point (not that they look “hot” now).

Anyway, the third tattoo is located on my ankle, and I hate it. I don’t regret much in life, but I certainly do occasionally *wish* I hadn’t done something. This tattoo is one of those (I wish I hadn’t…s).

About a year ago, I made the decision to remove it. I did some research (even wrote an article for it) and checked out some local clinics and shops.

I’m now 4 treatments in and I’ve had some major changes to the tattoo. Here’s my condensed version of the journey.

Capture The Moment 4

The GTB and I made our first Saturday stop at 1Fine Day‘s studio in NE Minneapolis. We met with Brett who was so fun — she works as a sort of coordinator for the studio (which is under the umbrella of Serendipity Photography.

We chatted with her for a while. It’s funny, I completely followed everything she said. We got into the car and the GTB was like, “She was just throwing numbers at us! I couldn’t keep up!” He’s a brilliant man, but get two girls talking and throwing numbers around in a somewhat non-logical way and “look out!”

Anyway, we checked out some images and got a feel for what our day would look like, time-wise. It was weird, this is the only studio that offered this information.


Capture The Moment 3

We met Kristian of KOFoto on Friday night as well (wow — we are exciting! Looks like we traded the bar scene to peruse other peoples’ wedding albums).

We met at his in-home studio and were impressed off the bat. But, who wouldn’t be if they were invited into a room with some key photographs displayed on the wall *hello gorgeous 3’x4′ gloss wedding photo* as well as a comfy, contemporary couch, yummy wall colors and a 42″ tv displaying a 1000+ image slideshow. It was all very welcome and inviting.

We spoke with Kristian for over an hour about ideas, thoughts, our ceremony/reception details and ourselves.

He was so easy to talk to, and was brimming with super-memorable ideas.

Right now, he’s on our short list. We’re estimating him to meet all our needs at around $3,400 for 6 hours (his basic package starts at $2,500).

For the quality of work he does (and the care he takes in his photography), I think the price is totally fair.

The question of whether we are comfortable spending that amount (really, about 1/5 of our attempted budget — remember we are trying to do this without incurring debt, but we are realisitic) is now being mulled over.

Who knows, Kristian may be our guy. We’ll let you know 🙂

Cartier, Tiffany-Style Ring

diamond.jpgLots of jewelry shops offer “Tiffany-style” rings or “Cartier-style” rings.

The thing about this is that:
a. They are NOT Tiffany & Co or Cartier rings if they are being sold by another jewelry store
b. You won’t be fooling anyone with a “styled” ring
c. trademark and patent laws ensure that no other jewelry stores will be able to see a ring that looks “that much” like a Tiffany & Co/Cartier ring
d. Brands such as Tiffany, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and the like have been cracking down on counterfeiters and have been prosecuting

That doesn’t matter, you still want a ring that LOOKS like Tiffany & Co. or Cartier even if it isn’t.


Engagement Ring: Winners/Losers

diamond-ring-poss.jpgSo, we covered a few stores — I tried on some fantastic rings, saw some incredible lighting (why doesn’t someone market an under-the-chin light that shines directly onto the ring and makes is sparkle like it does at the store?!) and we narrowed hundreds of rings down to a few.

Here’s my analysis of the shops: scales are 1-10, with 10 being the best.

Scores are given for friendliness of sales person, knowledge of sales person, general customer service (honesty, tact, etc), value, selection/quality/flexibility in choosing diamonds, selection of rings, and would I refer the shop to a friend.

Engagement Ring Shop Comparison
Ratings of the jewelers we visited by the following criteria:
State Frendliness Knowledge Service Value Diamond Ring Refer
Cartier 4 NA 6 4 3 3 no
Tiffany 5 6 6 4 1 6 sure
Scheherezad 7 6 6 5 8 8 yes!
Wedding Day 7 5 6 7 7 8 sure
J.B. Hudson 7 7 7 6 7 8 yes!
Landmark 8 10 9 9 10 6 yes!
Continental 2 5 2 6 7 7 no!

Engagement Ring Shopping: Tiffany & Co.

For some reason, I crave the little blue box a.k.a. any gift from Tiffany & Co.

Did the company do exhastive research on colors that can make women crave and salivate over the contents of the box? How does that little teal-blue color (pantone 1837 for the dorks in the group) make eyes light up like it does?

I always imagined my ring would be from Tiffany & Co., so that was naturally one of the first places we went to look at rings.

And boy, was I disappointed!