Totally get what you're saying about the 'if you can't come just tell us' thing. We're not quite at that point yet, but I can see it happening, and I have heard that a lot from other brides. I guess I'll need to make peace with the fact that it will probably happen, lol. Very smart to add the 10 at the end!
I have not been back to Beautiful Bride, but I think honestly I fell in love with that dress. I'm going to try to get home for Christmas (no confirmed tickets and flying standby is a gamble but I'll make it happen) so I can look with my mom out in Ontario. If I am not able to make it home my mom has said she'll fly out here the first week in January so we can look.
Your day of dress shopping with everyone sounds wonderful. I went with a bunch of us and my cousin when she was engaged and it was an awesome day. I forget where we were but I remember the woman being kind of a b&^%* saying that there were too many cooks in the kitchen (and maybe there were haha) but my cousin appreciated all of the help. I'm like that too though, the more the merrier. I'm appreciative of opinions, but I always end up trusting myself and my gut.
I will have to check out Jessica's Bridal. Is that on MacLeod? I think I went in there before to try on some bridesmaid dresses and if it's the place I am thinking of they were definitely nice. I think working in a bridal shop would be a lot of fun! Except for the Bridezilla's of course, lol!
I did go to Bridal Centre on Monday but I hated everything I tried on. Totally different experience than at Beautiful Bride. It wasn't the people - they were great - I just didn't like anything. Another thing I didn't like was that they are the ones who pull the dresses for you. I like to be able to go look around and choose what I'm attracted to. I didn't like any of the things she was pulling, and I kept asking for lace, but she said there was only one and it wasn't in my price range - but then on the way out I passed a whole rack of lace dresses and they were all but one within my limit! The problem was that I am hippy and the size 12's I was trying were just fitting, not really and a lot of the lace dresses were size 8 or 10 so I left kind of feeling like they didn't want me to try them on since they wouldn't fit. That's a whole other rant altogether! Lucky people who are a size 0 haha. I love my size (for the most part) but it's frustrating not to get to try certain styles because the samples are too small.
As for flights/resorts and prices, I did hear back from our travel agent today and she got group rates back for our dates. They were great prices! Between $1240 and $1375 depending on whether leaving from YYC or YYZ for a week! That included transfers to and from the resort so I was really impressed. I was facilitating today at work so I didn't access my email until after hours, but I do have some questions about how that all works. She mentioned needing names and deposits to secure the group rates but didn't mention a time frame, so I've emailed back to see if we would have to do that all at once. Since we haven't even sent out the Save the Dates yet haha, I certainly can't put down a deposit for a bunch of people who I can't guarantee are coming. If we don't get the group rates and people book individually I think it will end up being $100 more per person. But I'll have to wait and see what she says.
I think you're smart to take a mini break! I think now that I've decided on the major thing - the resort and that's confirmed - a lot can wait. I heard back from Vanessa again and I am so happy that many of the requests I've asked about don't cost extra and the things that do won't be too much more. They seem very accommodating. But I think I'll also take a mini break after figuring out how these group rates work. Let's enjoy the holidays haha. You have plenty of time and like everyone says, I think things will fall together. I'm type-A about certain things and really chill about others (I don't care at all about flowers, but the chairs I'm worried about lol) so when it comes time for those details I'll stress but for now I'll relax.