How To Choose The One :: Your Wedding Gown

Selecting your wedding gown for the BIG day, is very much like choosing your partner for life. You have to make sure you are compatible, make sure it’s the right fit; and many people ask, how do you know when it is time to say YES to the DRESS? One word: butterflies.

Getting to butterflies can be quite the challenge, and in many cases, several locations and dress options. First, you need to establish a Budget for your wedding gown. Most bridal gowns today tend to run from $800-3000 for most designers readily available in bridal boutiques in the US, and on average, most brides spend around $1250 for their gown. One way to cut down on cost is to search for pre-owned bridal gowns, or keep a look out for bridal shops in your area for Sample Sales.

Once you have established your budget, and before you even venture to a Sample Sale, you need to determine the style of gown you want. This is where compatibility and fit are most important. The best advice I was given, and that I will share with you is simply this: try on each style of gown (whether you love lace or not) to determine if you like mermaid, trumpet, fit & flare, a-line, or full ball gown. The first time I tried on wedding gowns, my heart was set on a form fitting mermaid gown. Then I tried one on, the exact one I had drooled over in magazine, and while I felt fabulous, I did not get butterflies. I was underwhlemed. It felt like a dress I would wear to a red carpet event, not down the church aisle to surprise the love of my life.

The most important fact about trying on all different styles is you can cut out a style that simply will not work, and determine which style makes you feel like a bride. You have selected a style, now it is about the little details. Bling, ruffles, texture, color and fabric are next.

Search online and in bridal magazines for the details on gowns, even if it is not the style you want. Make an appointment at your local bridal shop, and bring these aides to show your bridal consultant at your appointment. She will pull options for you, and then all 3 factors come into play. Compatibility, fit, and then this is where the butterflies come in.

You may get lucky with a Mother Fairy Consultant, and in my case, it happened to be a designer that I was obsessing over, Justin Alexander. He happened to have a trunk show at the bridal shop where I had my appointment. My consultant and Justin Alexander came up to me, and he said, “this is your gown”, and politely took the other ball gown out of my hands, and handed me her. The moment I stepped in front of the mirror with her on, I melted. I mean, butterflies to the point I was bursting out in hives and tears! This gown had all 3 factors, complete with tufts of tulle over ostrich feathers and a French corset. She was perfect. While the girls were “jacking me up” with accessories and veils, Justin Alexander personally drew a sketch of me in my gown (gasp!). I snapped a photo with him, and said YES to the DRESS!

Much like choosing your mate for life, you just know when it’s right, and you say yes.

justin alexander, weddings, tulle, ball gown, bride-Darcy Oliver Design

Justin Alexander & I when I said YES to the DRESS, and my Wedding Day.

 

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Hot Spot San Diego :: Juniper and Ivy

I have been dying to check out the new restaurant in Little Italy ever since I drove by the construction site off Kettner, and you would have guessed between Juniper & Ivy Street. The critically acclaimed Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais created a fusion of some amazing American Comfort Food with an East Coast Edge served al fresco. As one of the newest and most sought after new restaurants on the West Coast, I had to give it a go. Did I mention the awesome mixologists who created tantalizing cocktails just for our pleasure?
juniper and ivy, restaurant, san diego-Darcy Oliver Design
It was around 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon, and their bar was open for business. They serve dinner starting at 5:00 p.m., and small plates and drinks are served in their bar and lounge area until then. The facade of the building was nothing short of sexy and contemporary, and the green sign lures you in. The juxtaposition of West Coast casual meets New York Minute class, had my eyes wandering and devouring all the little details once we entered.
juniper and ivy, bar, lounge, seating-Darcy Oliver Design
The lounge area was rich with texture and reflective materials, which played into the ultra sleek and Modern bar area. The peeka-a-boo lighting and tubular fixtures glimmered almost like a marquee on Broadway. We grabbed a small belly up table which overlooked the main dining area. The pods created an intimate, yet on display for the who’s-who area, and also brought a new interpretation to the Modern Arc Lamp.
juniper and ivy cocktails, modern, interior design-Darcy Oliver Design
Sadly I do not have a picture of the delicious Buttermilk Biscuit that we shared…guess we put that down the hatch too fast! We both ordered the In The Ivy cocktail, which to our surprise, offered that San Diego flair with the crushed ice and orchid that was reminiscent of the infamous Mai Tai at Bali Hai…without the danger involved when drinking a potent Mai Tai! In The Ivy was berry refreshing with a tiny touch of sweetness, while the Friendship Garden was like sipping a green tea libation topped with Yuzo Foam. At first I wasn’t sure about it, not because it didn’t taste delicious, it was simply different.

Since it was my mother’s birthday eve, we shared the Berry Cobbler for dessert, and we devoured every bite. In part because I hadn’t had ice cream or dessert in so long / party in my mouth! It was sweet indulgence for sure, and Juniper and Ivy would make for a perfect date night, as it exudes celebration and swanky ambiance, not to mention we had amazing and attentive service. A definite must try!
juniper and ivy dessert and kitchen-Darcy Oliver Design

Avocado Egg Salad

Spring and Summer calls for cold salads on warm days, and this Avocado Egg Salad is your healthy ticket to just that. Whether on top of a bed of lettuce, or folded into sandwich bread, you can enjoy Grandma’s classic Egg Salad with all the creaminess of Mayo without the high saturated fat.

Avocados offer so many health benefits such as fiber, potassium, Vitamins C, K, Folate, and B6, and they also help you better absorb lycopene and beta-carotene due to the healthy monounsaturated fat in one avocado. Give this avocado recipe a try, and not only will you enjoy the rich and creamy taste, you’ll be doing your body good. Bon Appetit!

Avocado Egg Salad-Darcy Oliver Design

Ingredients, egg salad recipe-Darcy Oliver Design

  •  5 hard boiled eggs chopped
  • 1-2 avocados (I only needed one, so cut into one at a time)
  • 2 tbsp of yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro diced (optional)
  • pepper to taste (you can add salt to taste if you prefer)

Directions:

  1. chop 5 hard boiled eggs, and set aside in medium sized bowl.
  2. add freshly ground pepper (and salt if you prefer) to the eggs.
  3. shell and cut up 1 avocado, and smash in a small bowl.
  4. finely dice 1 small bunch of cilantro, and add to smashed avocado.
  5. add mustard and lemon juice to smashed avocado and stir completely through.
  6. add avocado mixture to eggs, and stir.
  7. serve chilled on a bed of lettuce or between sandwich slices and enjoy!

***best served on day it is made, and store in refrigerator***