Sunday, August 21, 2016

LIFE LATELY: AUGUST

You guys.
Remember when I used to do "Life Lately" posts every week?
HOW DID I HAVE THE TIME FOR THAT?!
Oy.

Since I've been useless at blogging lately on stuff other than the wedding, I figured I'd share a little bit of what's going on around here!

#1: Wedding related stuff:
1. You can read previous wedding posts here. They won't disappoint!
2. I got a dress! WOOT. More on that later. 
3. We've started booking stuff for our actual wedding in Greece and it's so exciting I might explode. 
4. Michael's aunts are throwing me a bridal shower this weekend and I am SO excited to spend time with all of them. PLUS I get to see my sister Louisa, so that's just the cherry on top! 
5.I stupidly gave people a REALLY long time to RSVP to our reception when we come back from Europe and it drives me crazy that I can't fill in my OCD Excel spreadsheet with all the info of people attending. That being said, getting texts/snaps of people getting RSVPs makes me just as excited as actually getting them somehow. So there's that. 

#2: Outdoor stuff
I really couldn't think of a better name for this section, so whatevs. It's 9:42 on a Sunday, give me a break. Point is, summer rules.
1. Terrace Time. The Memorial Union Terrace at UW-Madison is one of my favorite places on earth, and we've been going to enjoy plenty of sunsets (and beer).
2. Wine! Wollershiem Winery is a little over 30 minutes from us, and we recently ventured there for the first time. It was so fricking scenic I even surprised myself by only Instagramming one picture. #maturity.
3. Trips back to my parents' house for family time and time at the lake. Not only do I get to see my parents, but I also get to take basic photos like the one you'll see if you scroll down!

lake life
lake life

 #3 FRANDS.
Most of the pictures I've taken from recent friend hangouts will not be posted on the blog, because then my friends would probably stop being my friends. So I'll just post a couple of pictures from my friend Lauren's luau themed bachelorette party. She's quite possibly the sweetest bride-to-be on the planet!
Girls night idea! Hollowed out pineapples with rice, and grilled chicken & veggies!

 #4: Writing half a blog post and then quitting
I mean, if I'm going to fully encompass what's going on in life, that's a big part of it. I have 3 more #BBWeddingSeries posts half done, plus 1 photo editing post and 1 Rocksbox post with pictures...but no words yet. Le Sigh. 
I'll post the wedding ones soon, and in the meantime, if you want free jewelry delivered to you for a month with free shipping/returns, then go to Rocksbox.com and use code "Laurabff462" 
#yas.
FREE MONTH of jewelry delivered to your door! Use code LAURABFF462 at Rocksbox.com!


Other than those things, we're just getting ready for a bunch of busy weekends in a row, including a handful of weddings we are SO SO excited for!

What's new with you friends?
If you're sick of waiting 3 months at a time for one of these post, just find me on Instagram (@lpodlich) or Snapchat (lpod216) for a look at daily life :)

xo, lp


Thursday, July 28, 2016

I SAID "MAYBE!" TO THE DRESS // B&B WEDDING SERIES

Yes, you read that correctly. I said "MAYBE!"to the dress. Not "YES!" to the dress.
I can guarantee that everyone has a different experience wedding dress shopping...but shows like "Say Yes to The Dress" make it seem like everyone has the same experience, right?

Here's the scene:
Bride-to-be walks in with a posse of 16 gorgeous bridesmaids, mom, future mother-in-law. They all are gushing about how wonderful she is. She tells a story of the romantic way her fiancee proposed, everyone is already in tears. She explains what she's looking for in a dress for her Aruba destination wedding of 400 people and sends the Bridal Consultant on her way. She tries on a few dresses, mom starts crying. She tries on a few more, bridesmaids start crying. Bridal Consultant throws on a veil and a sparkly belt and Bride starts crying. "YES! I say YES to the dress!!!" she declares through her teary fake eyelashes. Everyone hugs her, even bridesmaid #4 who is in love with the groom-to-be and secretly hates the bride. 

The thing is, that's really not how it goes down. Or I mean, not how it goes down for everyone. I know some people find their dream dress at their dream price on the first swing- it's just not exactly how it went down for me.

I know it's a lot cleaner to say "I went dress shopping and said YES to the dress!" instead of saying "I went dress shopping and am not 100% sure because there are a few things I still need to consider so I said MAYBE to the dress!"...but for me, it's just not reality.

My dress experience was a little more laid back than SYTTD. I went to two local dress shops with two amazing, supportive friends (and the mother of one of those friends who was in town!) and showed up with a vague idea of what I wanted, a general idea of a budget, and a crazy short timeline (we leave for our wedding in Greece in less than 3 months)!

I tried on a few dresses- shockingly loving each of them. Dude you GUYS wedding dresses are flattering. They suck you in in all the right places and convince you you have the waistline of Kate Moss. It's neat. The...4th dress I tried on was MAGICAL. It was a non-traditional color, it was flattering, it was simple and elegant and romantic. I couldn't stop staring at myself. #VAIN.

via GIPHY

The ladies I was with were in love with it too- but when I looked at the price tag and realized it was over budget. In that moment I felt a lot of jealousy for the women on SYTTD and their $10,000 budgets from their rich great-great-aunt. Where was the magical moment that happens on the TV show where the Bridal Consultant says "Oh! You know what, we like you so much here's 50% off the retail price!"?! I tried on 2 more that I did NOT like (clearly a tactic by the Bridal Consultant) and decided to put a hold on the dress I loved, since it was an as-is sample.

I have 2 weeks to decide on what the hell to do, but there it is, how I said "MAYBE!" to the dress.
Stay tuned for what I end

Ladies out there- how did your first dress shopping experience go?
Anyone else say "MAYBE!" to their dress?

xo, lp

Want to follow along more on the B&B Wedding series?
Either:
Follow me on Instagram HERE or Snapchat: LPOD216
or check out the rest of the posts HERE!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

HOW TO CUSTOM DESIGN YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING // B&B WEDDING SERIES

I knew exactly what my engagement ring would look like when Michael proposed.

How? 
 I helped design it! 
how to custom design your own engagement ring!
The reactions I get when I tell people I took part in making my ring are variations of the following:

1. "That is so cool! How awesome you had a say in what the ring looks like!"
2. "Ohhhhh...you didn't want it to be a surprise? I can't imagine if it hadn't been a surprise for me"

The second version just really gets me. I don't go up to people who had their ring given to them in surprise and say "Ohhhh...you didn't design your ring? Oh..so..you just..settled with what he gave you?" That would be ridiculous and rude. And wrong. Because there's just no right answer when it comes to engagement rings. Heck, you don't even need an engagement ring if you don't want one.

Michael and I first talked about getting married after about 2 months of dating, so we were more than comfortable talking about rings. I'm INSANELY picky, and was so happy and appreciative that he knew me well enough to know that I would like to have some (read: alot of) control in what the ring looked like. Ironically enough, my ring ended up looking just like a ring that Michael jokingly told me he would buy me one day when we were still in college.

 Also- let it be noted that looking at my ring, no one would ever guess it was "designed". It's a simple, platinum three-stone ring- but nothing out there I saw had the exact band width or profile size that I wanted- so we designed one that was exactly what I was looking for! "Designing" doesn't need to mean over the top crazy wild details- even the most simple white t-shirt was "designed!"

This post is for anyone else who is hoping to design their ring too- these are steps I took, and I hope they'll be helpful to you!
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Step 1: Get inspiration online.
Go on Pinterest. Scroll through #engagementring and #theknotrings on Instagram. Search Etsy. There are so many easy, pressure-free ways to search for rings nowadays! I created a hidden Pinterest board with my sister who has a lot of jewelry knowledge and we bounced ideas back and forth of what looked good. 
how to design your own engagement ring
Step 2: Try some rings on!
Going into a jewelry store is just like going into a clothing store. You are allowed to try the merchandise without having to BUY anything. I know, it can be a little intimidating or awkward to walk into a store alone- so bring a friend! My sister and I went through a store about a year before Michael proposed and we both tried on a bajillion rings. See what you think looks good on your finger. See if you like a white or yellow or rose gold (or other metals). I kept gravitating towards 3 stone rings, so it's clear that's what I wanted to end up with.

Step 3: Find a jeweler you're comfortable with & ask about their policies.
A few friends recommended a local jeweler, which is both where I checked out rings with my sister, AND ended up designing the ring. The people were welcoming, not overly pushy, and incredibly knowledgeable. Michael and I found a guy in the store with an outgoing, honest view on picking out a ring that we loved. I asked about 20 questions about their policy on designing rings- and found out it costs ZERO money to design a ring, and if you don't love it when it's done, it's a full money-back guarantee. That took a ton of weight off of both of our shoulders!

Step 4: Share your ideas, and BE. SPECIFIC.
Oh lord. This isn't the time to be wishy-washy my friends. This is something you'll wear forever. I was very clear I wanted a platinum band, and valued quality/clarity of the diamonds over size. My biggest requests were to have the stones be low-profile and to have a narrower band. I personally don't like it when stones sit up really high on the ring, because I feel they catch on everything, and I have really short, sort of wide fingers (#truth).  He found us a ring that was similar to what I wanted, and we went from there.

Step 5: Choose your diamonds & get a mock-up done.
Oy. This made my head spin. Our jeweler brought out loose diamonds of different sizes and it took a while to pick what what was right. Once we had an idea, our jeweler sent instructions to the designer and they sent back versions of what the ring would look like with different sized side stones (image below).  I ended up not going with either of the exact below options- but here's what the sheets look like! FYI- it takes about 2 weeks to get the drawings back.
how to design your own engagement ring
Step 6: Get a wax mold made. 
Once you've approved the drawings and picked your stone(s), the designer makes a wax mold of your setting, so you can rest the stones in it and get an idea of what the tangible ring looks like. Keep in mind, if your ring has prongs, they'll look a little oversized in the wax mold form. From CAD to getting your mold, it takes about 2-3 weeks.

Step 7: Get the ring! (and get it insured!)
I chose to NOT pick up the ring with Michael when it was done, because I wanted to at least be surprised with what the final-FINAL product looked like. From wax mold to final ring, it takes about 3-4 weeks. Before you (or your partner) walk out the door, be sure you have your ring insured. Whether it's on an existing insurance plan, or through Jeweler's Mutual, DON'T be lazy about this! If you lose your ring or it get's stolen and you don't have it insured, you are seriously out of luck. HERE is a great, easy article about ring insurance!

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I truly, 100% believe that the jeweler you work with can make or break your experience. If you're not getting a good vibe from the first person you work with, email the jewelry store and request someone else. Don't. Feel. Bad. You are paying a premium for their service, don't at all feel like they get the final say in who you work with. I can assure you that they'd rather you request someone new than go to a whole other store to purchase your ring!

If you designed your ring, what advice do you have?

xo, lp


Want more of the #BBWeddingSeries? You can find all the posts here!  

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