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DominiqueAmber's Wedding Planning Blog

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#21 dominiqueamber

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    Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

    Saying "Yes, Yes, Yes, Oh Yesh!" to the Dress

    Feburary 4, 2012


    I know everyone woman waits for that moment where she finds “thee dress” I can’t even begin to explain to you my excitment when I found m dress. I discovered these dresses while googling before I knew they were designed Jim Hjelm and my thought process went a little like this: 

     Classy /Jim Hjelm 8763 

    Pretty / Jim Hjelm 8011 

    Yes /Jim Hjelm 8859  

    Yes/Jim Hjelm 8800  

    Oh, Oh /Jim Hjelm 8801   

    Oh, Yesh! / Jim Hjelm 8904 


    I ended up deciding it was better suited as a reception dress because I was determined to have that dress. I showed everyone who would look that dress and they agreed it was beautiful as well. Because I’m so persistent I didn’t give up. I searched for a used dress. The ones I found had been sold, I even searched outside my size. Then I discovered the online chinese wedding dress frenzy. I could get a replica made for a lot less. It wouldn’t look exact and that’s ok, I was just concerned about the quality of the lace but I could get a sample. The dresses that I saw ladies getting for $100 – $300 excited me but did not apply. It turns out they wanted about $1,000 to make this beauty. That’s a lot for something I don’t see before buying and isn’t exactly what I want.

    So with other pretty things for me to focus on, I put the great dress hunt on the shelf.  Have you gotten frustrated you can’t afford something and didn’t want to choose an alternative?

    #22 TammyWright


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    Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:10 PM

    great journey and blog!  everything looks amazing!!

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    #23 dominiqueamber

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      Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:25 PM


      Originally Posted by Tammy Host 

      great journey and blog!  everything looks amazing!!


      Thanks Tammy! Although it takes a LOT of time I'm really enjoying blogging :)

      #24 dominiqueamber

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        Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:32 PM

        Wedding Dreams Crushed (and Diverted)

        February 9, 2012



        I’m sure you’ve heard “I can’t afford my own taste” or “Champagne taste, Beer Budget” I’m that girl. I really consider myself thrifty and I don’t believe I have expensive taste. I’m the girl who won’t buy an article of clothing for more than $60 or jewelry for more than $15. But when it comes to weddings, I have expensive taste. I’ve had this conversation with Raoul many times, him trying to tell me I’m asking for a lot right now and I’m trying to say it’s my first and only wedding and I deserve it and him saying he wants me to have my dream wedding but I have to decide if I want to marry him or impress everyone. The conversation always ends with me get my feelings hurt and feeling like an awful person. I was willing to budge on almost everything.

         That Jim Heljm dress I’ve had on my desktop for ever so I could show everyone – I can live without.


        Fireworks at the end of the night and us making our exit in a hot air balloon inspired by a scene on Mont Cristo I saw when I was 12? Ok, I knew this was a stretch but I can live without it too.


        There are seriously a ton of things I’ve lusted after thanks to wedding porn but I will live without. That’s why I felt I was being fair in asking for one thing. My perfect venue. As a designer it’s very difficult for me to find a space I absolutely love. Even my own home gets criticized, although mainly because I can’t afford to do it the way it should be done.  When R and I first started talking about marriage I knew it would be in Bahamas even though he was willing to have his family come to the states for the sake of my families’ budget. But being the beach girl that I am, I knew the yucky beach in Virginia would be nothing compared to the beautiful beach is Bahamas. After my first cruise I refuse to let water that’s not clear go higher than my calves so I couldn’t imagine having a trash the dress session there. So since I knew it would be Bahamas and I was stuck in Virginia for a long time, this impatient girl took to the internet so I could have a picture to go with my wedding day dreams. I discovered a destination wedding blog that I became addicted to and by way of a few ladies weddings started seeing venues but none that interested me. I really don’t remember how I stumbled across it but one day I found “it”

        The perfect venue. Beach Club Caf©.

        The outside patio in the evening / 

        The view walking in / 

        The view from the water / 

        The indoor dining area / 

        Another view of the indoor dining area / 

        Outside Patio 

        The view of the water and pier from the patio (Personal Photo)

        A few weeks later my mother visited the island and R took her to have lunch at Beach Club, while impressed with the atmosphere they weren’t impressed by the overpriced food. They spent $40 for two beers and a small pizza they split. But my mother talked to the owner who remembered me and told her we could also rent the restaurant out for half a day for $3,500. R said it was a possibility and I had my dream once again.

        Fast forward to months later when we’re getting serious about this wedding talk. I realized with R just coming out of the off season and me just starting a job after being unemployed for most of the year that were a long way off from saving for this wedding. Especially since my car died and I’m looking at getting a car payment which I haven’t had in years and I still would like to have a reception in Virginia. So I put on my big girl panties and realized I’d rather end this long distance relationship and marry him sooner than wait until we save enough money for my dream wedding. The daydreams of seeing him when I get off work, us having dinner together and waking up next to each other were far more important than that gorgeous perfect dream wedding. We would still have a beautiful wedding because I would still put my heart into it and we would be surrounded by our family and friends celebrating what’s most important –us uniting our lives. I accepted I don’t get everything I want and the hunt for a venue began. Again.

        Did you have a hard time giving up something for your wedding day?

        #25 Islander88

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          Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:48 PM

          wow i loooove your ideas! congrats and god luck with all your planning. i look forward to seeing your creations!

          #26 futuremrstgun

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            Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

            Your thread is sooooo much fun!!! Very well put together!!! Love the STDs and the goodies!!! Bravo!!! Bravo!!! BRAVO!!! Happy planning!!! R~

            #27 JustNoelle

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              Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

              Love your BLOG!! Congratulations & Happy Planning!!!!

              #28 dominiqueamber

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              • 923 posts

                Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:16 AM

                Thanks so much! I appreciate that other BDW brides like them with all the amazing things we see around here.

                Originally Posted by Islander88 

                wow i loooove your ideas! congrats and god luck with all your planning. i look forward to seeing your creations!


                Makes me feel very good coming from you! I can't believe you had the energy to do a project every night after work!


                Originally Posted by futuremrstgun 

                Your thread is sooooo much fun!!! Very well put together!!! Love the STDs and the goodies!!! Bravo!!! Bravo!!! BRAVO!!! Happy planning!!! R~


                Thank-you for taking the time to read and commenting to let me know you liked it!


                Originally Posted by JustNoelle 

                Love your BLOG!! Congratulations & Happy Planning!!!!



                #29 dominiqueamber

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                • 923 posts

                  Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:21 AM

                  A place to call Our Own

                  February 10, 2012


                  I believe the spot where you are married becomes a part of you for the rest of your life. I’m all for making memories and I really wanted a memorable place that we could go back and visit and remember where we became husband and wife in front of our family and friends. I had continued with the online search after Beach Blub Cafe was out of the question. Many of the women I found online had been married at hotels like Atlantis, Wyndham, Sheraton, Breezes and RIU Palace (to name a few). Atlantis was out for sure because I was not a fan of their overpriced Las Vegas style resort. It was grand but to me it was not beautiful and tranquil. As far as the other hotels they had beautiful views but the beaches were crowded and I was not a fan of being surrounded by the people and the pool. Raoul and I attended an indoor wedding in the Sheraton which was pretty. That couple was from Nassau so they saw the beach all the time but I knew if I was getting married in the Bahamas it HAD to be outdoors.

                  Right next door to the Beach Club I remembered another restaurant I had visited in April called The Poop Deck. 

                  The outiside patio / 

                  I snapped this picture inside the dining room / Personal Photo

                  Outside Patio. See the green plastic chairs? / Personal Photo


                  This area was around the corner on the patio, I liked that there was a lot of covered space / Personal Photo

                  At the corner of the patio and that open space is the outside bar / Personal Photo

                  View from the patio to the open area which is commonly used for the dance floor / Personal Photo

                  There is a large enough area for dancing or for setting up outdoor seating / Personal Photo

                  From the patio you go over that little bridge to get to the beach/ Personal Photo

                  When we left we were pretty sure that this was our least expensive option and where we would probably have the wedding. Deep down it really hurt me that I would have a nice view of Beach Club where I really wanted to be and Raoul made it better by suggesting we still have dinner there with our close family. I love that man. I had looked up a few more places online so we were off to do some more site visits.

                  Did you find your venue right away or was it a journey?



                  #30 dominiqueamber

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                    Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:20 PM

                    That Ugly Horrible Word

                    February 16, 2012


                    I’ve talked about not being able to afford the dress I want or the venu I fell in love with but I haven’t talked about the budget yet.I was really hoping to get through this whole process without bring it up. I hate talking about budgets, especially when I don’t have the money I would like to. I think it’s an ugly, horrible word that shouldn’t be spoken but I don’t think I’ll have a choice. A wedding revolves around the budget. Raoul and I managed to avoid wedding stress and arguing until the budget came into discussion.

                    Since I was laid off from my high paying job early on in our relationship I knew our wedding would be a “budget wedding”. I’m not one to be concerned with my own budget and during my research I just searched for best prices as I’m a thrifty shopper. I never thought to start saving or make a plan how to pay for all of this. When we started getting serious about wedding talk I played around with a budget in wedding wire adding the things that were most important to me, like pictures, videography and favors. I was at $9,000. Ouch. The numbers were higher than expected mainly because I had to have Super 8 video and I wanted to spend money on the guests transportation to and from the wedding site (since they were going all the way to The Bahamas). Raoul took one look and dismissed it as I was not really serious.

                    We didn’t talk much about the budget till I had come home with the ring and I persisted. Once I got into his mind I discovered he wanted a $2,000 wedding. I understood his reasons for wanting to focus on the marriage and not the wedding. He had no idea I had spent about $1,000 on things I had been collecting, but it was important to me to be able to pay the rent when we got home. We also had to consider we would be paying a couple thousand to move him to the states and get him residency. I tried tweaking the budget to $4,000 to compromise. I was unhappy. I felt like I was losing my dreams. After three weeks of arguing discussing how much we would spend we settled on $3,000 for the wedding (I added another $1,000 to that because I knew my mother and grandmother would help out). I still wasn’t happy with this number but I was determined to make it work. I was still able to have my beloved shopping trips to the thrift stores to get goodies to use for the wedding and splurge on supplies for DIY ideas I found online. Then it came time to start making car payments for the first time in my adult life. Ouch. I was depressed for a few days because I knew this was life changing (aka killing my shopping sprees)


                    Once again Raoul helped adjust my thinking. He helped me to appreciate that as a designer I was used to dealing with 8 and 10 million dollar budgets and I also had budgets that were $100,000 and for my clients I learned to make it appear it was million dollar project. He showed me the opportunity to do it again.  I don’t plan for my wedding to look like it was thrown together with little money and I hope by doing that I can help other women feel they can have a beautiful dream wedding even if they don’t have the finances. I was one of those women who got frustrated seeing everything she can’t have and feels like their wedding isn’t “good enough”. The “good enough” is relative. If it wasn’t for all the wedding porn I’ve filled my head with over the past year I think I would be a much happier and less stressed girl right now.  Like real porn, it starts with a little viewing and then you’re addicted looking at images any chance you can get, neglecting responsibilities. And like real porn once those images get in your head, the damage is already done because you can’t get them out – and your reality is not good enough.

                    Another bad influence in my poor little head is: my family. They want the best for me and want me to marry someone who can give me my dream wedding. I’ve learned to be careful what I share with Ra what they say because it only causes big problems in our relationship. I know they mean well but I fell in love with a guy that doesn’t have much money and that’s ok for me. I don’t think it means our marriage is doomed I think it means we will have problems like everyone else. They don’t want me to go into the situation knowing that it’s going to be hard. With him moving here and having to get a green card, then find a job I know that it’s going to be stressful. Do they expect me to sit around and wait for a sugar daddy? I’m honestly envious of people who can afford to have a $10,000 wedding right now, but I don’t think they will have better weddings or marriages than the couple with the $100 wedding.

                    I found this wonderful website called The Budget Savvy Bride and after a Saturday afternoon of browsing (positive and realistic wedding porn) I felt much better. I saw beautiful weddings for $6,000 and less and I was ready to tackle this challenge. You can search by the budget and find great inspiration. So two events for $4,000, and I feel if I focus on our love and not glitz it’s possible. I want an event that feels like family and friends supporting and celebrating the love we have between us. So the goal is to simplify and rely on the people who love us to be friendors to help make our wedding meaningful and memorable. Did talking about the budget cause arguments between you and your fianc© or you and your family?



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