jeudi 31 janvier 2008

Rental... checked

Rental for our wedding venues were signed. I ought to find an idea to transform the damn "gymnasium" room into a ballroom fit to welcome the ball of the century. At a restricted budget, of course.

mardi 22 janvier 2008

Ball opening

I found a professional waltz teacher over the internet - bride and groom must traditionally open the ball in Alsatian weddings - and we really needed it. I did not know how to dance a waltz and my husband-to-be's case was even worse. He did not have a sense of rythm.

dimanche 20 janvier 2008

Cymbeline outlet

While my wedding dress is already waiting for me at Fortunée's - I asked Michelle, the owner, to keep it for me since I have no adequate space in my tiny Parisian appartment to store it conveniently and I figured that it would be hard keeping it off my future husband's curiosity - I still need to find a veil, a pair of shoes and perhaps a pair of gloves.

By chance, I found an address on the Internet of a shop in Nemours, about 60 kms from Paris, named Mariées de France selling old Cymbeline collections. I called right away to fix an appointment the next Saturday midday. It is a pity they do not have a website. So here is the complete address for those interested to find an affordable new Cymbeline dress from previous collections:

Mariées de France
4bis rue Magloire Constant

Telp. +33-(0)1 64 28 49 40

Do not be surprised to see the place from outside. I did not find it right away when I passed in the street since it does not look at all like a shop, let alone a wedding shop! The only thing that helped me find it on my way back to the car - I almost gave it up - is the Mariée de Nemours card-board hang on an opaque door of a building that looked more like a warehouse.

Once inside, I was really amazed. It was an Ali Baba's cave, in bridal version, and I almost regretted having already bought my wedding dress. The lady who received me was nice and patient but pretty fussy about the dresses they have: it was forbidden to touch the dresses without the gloves provided so it was literally impossible to feel the fabrics in our hands, you just have to go with your eyes to judge them. It is true that with the number of women coming in and out they must have a tough job keeping them all clean. These are after all brand new dresses that must look like brand new dresses.

Finally, as before, almost nothing were at my size - which is a good thing because I was then not tempted to buy another dress - but I was lucky enough to find a pair of slings for my tiny feet and a veil. All that at 25% of what I would have had to pay in an ordinary bridal shop. My veil is not decorated with exactly the same lace as my dress but they still match and of course at that price there is really nothing to say.

vendredi 18 janvier 2008

Second fitting

Lingerie for the wedding day in hand, I went back to Fortunée's for a 2nd fitting after work. I did not need to make an appointment for weekdays visit but I had called the shop at midday to make sure that I could come and try my dress.

The owner, was just as kind as during my 1st fitting. She patiently helped me putting on the dress and even took other pictures. I fell in love even more with my dress when I saw the pictures. All was fine, I could keep the lingerie and use it for the D-day.

dimanche 13 janvier 2008

Paris winter sale

Michelle - Fortunée's owner - promised me to find a seamstress who could make alterations to my wedding gown and scheduled my next fitting a couple of months later. She reminded me to have the lingerie and the shoes I intended to wear for my wedding day by then.

Paris sale season happens to be in January and early February every year. I figured that it was a perfect timing to get the lingerie I needed. Why paying full price when you can have it for half or even quarter price, right? True that I could have taken a pleasure shopping out from the latest collection in a chic boutique in Paris 8th quarter away from the sale crowd but we needed to balance our budget with the additional community room we had to rent. So I chased away the little voice in my head whispering the once-in-a-lifetime excuse.

Being of extremely small sized in underwear, I planified my whole Saturday for the hunt. I dragged my husband-to-be for the expedition knowing exactly that it would be fun - kind of test for him and revenge from my part from his cruelly unromantic proposal - because he hates shopping and especially for lingerie. He always gets red - sort of the face you have after exposing it for at least an hour under a fiery sun - whenever we pass less than 10 meters away from a lingerie department then he behaves as if it were an accident that he arrived there.

After running around Paris lingerie shops, asking countless times for a literally non-existing size, and fighting out hysterical Parisian women to find our way, we were finally rewarded for our bravery. I found a guépière and a matching panty of my size in the sober-but-sensual style I wanted and we could finally went home feeling relieved - especially my husband-to-be.

dimanche 6 janvier 2008

Dress of my dream

My job had been keeping me at length for preparing my wedding properly, especially during my resignment period where they were flooding me with works and sending me running all over Europe. I finished my contract on December 22, 2007 evening. That was it, then I could run and find the dress of my dream.

Six months to the wedding and I had not tried a single dress yet. I was not really in a hurry until I learnt that most brides-to-be in Paris have already picked their dress a year before the big day! Then it was panic for me.

My future sister-in-law has always been dreaming of putting a wedding gown herself and she was naturally enthousiastic - even more than me, I would dare say - and very touched, perhaps even in the brink of tears, when I asked her to accompany me for my dress hunting in Paris. She is the kind of level 10-out of 10-romantic girl - now I know where all the romanticism in the family goes! I figure that she imagined a delightful fitting and défilé in a cosy rosy private rooms lined with endless rows of georgeous (priceless) gowns which lasts for hours.

So, now the visits.

Complicité - we went to their Montmartre shop. Dresses are quite nice and affordable but service is very poor. Their employees can be a bit rude and pushy. They only let me try 2 dresses out of 4 I wanted by saying that the other two do not suit me anyway and then they gave me less than 5 minutes to see myself in the mirror for each dress. Finally, after the 2 dresses fitting, they pushed me to buy the most expensive one right away along with the horribly expensive accessories. No appointment given.

Complicité Montmartre
12, rue du Faubourg Montmartre
75009 PARIS

Telp. +33-(0)2 43 53 75 00

Fortunée - is a dépôt de vente specialized in wedding dresses, a place where you can buy second-hand wedding gowns. This one is particular because they only have branded and haute-couture dresses. From the outside the place looks old and a bit shabby, like your grandma's dressing room but inside they certainly have a fabulous treasure. Most of all, the owner works by herself and she is an absolute dear. She is sincerely kind and while helping all those happy brides-to-be, she has that twinkle in her eyes as if she were preparing her own wedding. An absolute stop in Paris! Be careful, only by appointment on Saturday.


11, rue Pache
75009 PARIS

Télp. +33-(0)1 43 72 05 59

Fortunée has beautiful dresses made with beautiful materials. Nothing compared to the synthetic fabrics we saw in the previous shop! Everything is so pretty but... not many in my size. Almost none in fact. Most girls are complaining that wedding dresses are made too small, I could yell the contrary. After looking through the whole collection, the kind lady showed me the two smallest gowns she had. They were so dreamily beautiful that I did not dare too much touching them, I was so affraid to damage them. She helped me try on both of them and let us all the time we wanted to see them on me. She even offered us to take some pictures. She told me, for every gown, what should be done and some other tips that might help. She really looked enjoying, even happy, seeing someone in a second hand dress she kept.

The moment I saw myself in the mirror wearing the 2nd dress there, I knew that I have found the one I was looking for. My future sister-in-law saw it too and she told me to take it without hesitation. For a fraction I was so affraid to look at the price tag to find only disappointment but thank God it turned out to be affordable for what it is, a dress from the house of Cymbeline used only once for a défilé, practically new. My future sister-in-law laughed and said that for once I was lucky to be of small size, otherwise someone else would have had the dress. She was right, perhaps the dress was waiting for me.