My Updates

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Presents for my Birthday

Take a look at the wonderful necklace my fiance MADE for me! :D I couldn't be happier! And to top it all off, he's buying me this awesome book! Does my man know how to please me or what?!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finalizing the design

I'm currently contacting several people in regards to making my dress - these are the designs that I'm finalizing on -

This first one is, I think, the one that would look the best. These designs are all the same except for the neckline and shoulders, which my upper arms are currently my highest priority in hiding and making look good.

The difference with this one, is it has more of a sleeve and the neckline is convex around the neck.

All the designs maintain a sweetheart cut around the upper chest, since I'm kinda small chested and want to modestly make that look a bit better :-)

This second design was my "final" one before, but I'm unsure of the way I have the shoulder straps and the off-the-shoulder straps. I have round shoulders, and I feel like this will accentuate the roundness rather than add elegance.

This is exactly like the first design, but the neckline is concave to the neck rather than convex - again, I'm a bit worried it will make my shoulders look more round than they already are.

Then there is the issues of gloves, veil, and the actual decor of the hat - but that will all be fixed when I talk to an actual designer rather than just my idea of what looks good on me.


Other things of note -

Say hello to the engagement party cake. No, this is not a picture of it - it's a brown top hat. It will be covered in gold gears and surrounded in a natural setting.

 Also, there is a Steampunk festival near Cleveland, Ohio this weekend - I want to go really bad, but it's 5 hours away and it's kinda late notice.
The League of Cincinnati Steampunks is having a get-together August 6th at Arnold's Bar and Grill -

Anyone can (and is encouraged to) come!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Moving Forward

My mother and I met with Kay Nelson yesterday, who is a wedding planner. The first order of business was to decide on a location, and we've decided...




We (and by "we", I mean "I") really loved the Cincinnati Club. It was the most reasonably priced with the most character out of all the places we visited. My mother has a few hiccups regarding it, but I think once she see's the final product, she'll understand what's in my head and love it. :D

Location: Cincinnati Club
Date: October 22nd, 2011
Time: 6:00pm

Countdown -
463 days
11,127 hours
667,626 minutes
40057000+ seconds

No time to waste!

I'm going to be uploading a bunch of pictures in the upcoming week regarding designs and notes. They will be mostly for the wonderful people helping my vision come to life, but I hope that the rest of you will also be able to enjoy them and perhaps offer a few opinions :D

***Note that pictures are thrown in because I don't like uploading posts without images of some sort. They have nothing to do with what I'm talking about, haha :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Cincinnati Club

Today has taken us to the Cincinnati Club.

It's in the same block of buildings as the Phoenix, so again it's downtown.

Pros: Beautiful, and very steampunk. The room I'd have the ceremony in - the Gold Room, has a compass on the ceiling and two-story high windows and mirrors. The Oak Room would hold the reception, which is right down the hall from the Gold Room (Litterally, [oakroom]----hall----[goldroom]). Those are the only two rooms on the level, and the bar is located in the hallway, which is awesome. And since we'd be getting both rooms, the whole level would be ours.
<--- Oak Room
Cons: Parking, just like the Phoenix. Location. It's about the same price, also. I like it better than the Phoenix, honestly, but it has the same issues. Not to mention - the parking is complicated. They come in on the 5th floor of the garage, but it's the third floor of the building, and it's in a different part of the building. Other than that, it's perfect.

<---Gold Room
I loved it the minute I walked in. It was everything I thought it would be and more, besides the parking. I expected that as soon as I saw the address.

We're meeting with the Kay, our potential wedding planner, tomorrow. Hopefully she can shed some light on the subject.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekend Updates

Saw the Manor House and took a gander at the Hall of Mirrors at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati on Friday.

Manor House

Pros: Black and Gold trolley to take us wherever we want to go, beautiful gazebo and courtyard outdoor areas for a ceremony, great changing rooms, one of the nicest coordinators I've met, great parking, good location.

Cons: Southern Plantation murals in every room that don't really meet the theme's standards, price (but not as high as the Phoenix), no real "wow" factor in the reception rooms, as much as I wish I hadn't seen it - there were two dead fish in the pond outside... that's a bit of a bummer.

We kept a hold on the Manor House, but we've decided to also keep looking just in case. I relatively liked it, for the most part, I figure we can hide the murals somehow. My mother was less impressed, I think. However, it almost makes me sad to say "no" because Michelle was so nice! Especially when I mentioned the dead fish, and also accidentally hinted at the other locations we were looking at. I felt like a bit of a bridezilla, which I'm terrified of being construed as.

The Hall of Mirrors/The Pavilion

Pros: Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! The Hall of Mirrors was huge, fantastic, and amazing! I really loved it! Then the Pavilion was awesome! The whole "being based on a zepplin" thing was obvious once you see it in person, and the way a person could decorate it would be brilliant!

Cons: Money. money money money money money. Bare minimum for the Hall of Mirrors is $27k, and a few thousand less than that for the Pavilion. It's just way too much. I refuse to allow my mother to spend that much money on just the location. No way whatsoever.

It's just way too much money. I won't even consider the location anymore. Don't get me wrong, 1/8th of that price - yes! Absolutely, for less than $10k, I will totally be all over it! Beautiful, historical, great food, unique! But pricey. Very pricey.


We're going to take a look at Laurel Court and the Cincinnati Club at some point.


Myra, Mallory, and myself hung out with the League of Cincinnati Steampunks today! They hosted an event at the Cincy Art Museum - a Murder Mystery Scavenger hunt :D It was a great time, and I look forward to attending another hangout/event with them again!

We were divided into teams - Myra was teamed up with a gentleman we hadn't met before (and I can't recall his name), and Mallory and I were lucky enough to be on a team together. Myra's team came in first while Mallory and I came in second. I must say, Mallory was much more aware of her surroundings than I was, I wouldn't have gotten as far without her, haha!

Afterwards, the three of us went to an ice cream parlor in Montgomery while everyone else went to have dinner at Rookwood (sp?)  plaza.

The ice cream parlor was called "Aglamesis Bros". I got a banana sundae with hot fudge, Myra got coffee with carmel, and Mallory got Strawberry with Strawberry with Strawberry whipped cream, haha. It was fantastic, and I will probably be going again :D

The League of Cincinnati Steampunks is having a masquerade at Loveland Castle next weekend - I'll be out of town at an anime convention, but if anyone else is interested in going - they should!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Something Cool

See the pretty thing I bought at the Florence Antique Mall!

It's a bit rusty, but it just needs a good cleaning! There are little lanterns that need to be soldered together onto the posts in the back of the tray. It was only $15, and my mom agrees that it's perfect! I love the benches on the side and the cane stir-sticks!


Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Long day

It's not like me to get stressed from a work overload, and I don't intend to start now. However, this summer (especially the past couple of weeks) has been so busy that my head spins when I just think of all the things I need to do. I'm very eager to meet with a wedding planner, but that isn't until next Wednesday. Before that, we are still going to the Manor House on Friday and then talking with someone at our church (Crossroads) on Monday.

Today we visited The Phoenix. It's very lovely, it really is. It's also very big! Much bigger than I thought it was going to be.
Pros: The ballroom is fantastic - it has a lovely wall that will be great for fantastical lighting! Lovely balconies, lots of room, and I love some of the picture opportunities!
Cons: It's more expensive, parking cost $2 per car, valet services cost money, they don't have the napkin colors we want, it's in downtown Cincinnati. A lot of it was location and parking, but everything else is spot-on!

We went to meet with Barb Harvey at Incredible Endings cakes.We tried a Italian butter-cream raspberry cake, which was fantastic, but I think we're going with a chocolate cake with caramel filling. I'm going to be making a design of a top hat, which will be an ivory, and a gear design This will be for the engagement party in October.

We also just ordered a wonderful cake topper from Pete at Etsy.

Visitations begin

Today my mother, Jade (mom's friend who stays with us, she's a bit younger than me, and she's like an adopted sister - who is getting baptized :D), and myself are going to go see The Phoenix today. Then later we are picking up Travis and going to taste cakes for our engagement party.

Then Friday we are going to see the Manor House - My mom, Travis, and me. Travis can't get to the Phoenix today because of work, but we figure that if we like it enough that we'll make another appointment so he can see it.

Another place we might try is the Hall of Mirrors, which isn't as cool as it sounds (to me at least - my mom likes it). It's a ballroom located in a hotel. A Hilton Hotel, mind you, but still a hotel.

There is something about getting married in a hotel that isn't romantic. There would be no "going" anywhere when Travis and I leave - the prospect of "leaving" is simply going up to your hotel room (if we don't leave directly to our honeymoon).

But we might check it out. Who knows, maybe it's not as bad as I think it's going to be.

Travis is a bit bummed out because he hasn't been feeling well and thus had to leave work early on Monday. Now he has to make up those hours on Saturday right over an event the League of Cincinnati Steampunks is having at the art museum - a scavenger murder mystery :D. My friend (and bridesmaid) Mallory says she can go with me in his stead. I'm really excited about it.

I've been researching, reading, tasting, listening, eating, walking, breathing, everything steampunk that I can for a good week and a half now. I'm exhausted, haha. It's been nothing but wedding non-stop, and it's not like we're behind on planning - we have a year and three months! But we'd rather get done planning early rather than be rushing at the last minute. I just hope I'm not steampunk'd-out by the time the wedding gets here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

In the Beginning (the venue)

The first mention of a venue happened a good year ago I believe.

After church one weekend (we both go to Crossroads in Oakley) we decided to visit the Loveland Castle. He had never been, and it had been a long time for me.

This was before any mention of Steampunk came about. Steampunk was something I was unfamiliar with, but largely enjoyed the aesthetics of without piecing things together.

The Castle is only $400 to reserve, and then we'd have the reception elsewhere. However, as time has progressed, we've considered that having a reception on location, but not in the same place, would be best. Also, the Castle isn't available in October, so to avoid changing the date, we decided to look elsewhere.

So, We've now narrowed it down to a couple places. We haven't visited them yet, so these opinions are based off of their websites.

Manor House

My first choice is the Manor House in Mason. The beauty of the grounds and interior seen in the pictures impressed me. It looks as though it would be very easy to have the ceremony outside and arrange the reception inside - which is perfect. Both areas are absolutely stunning. The catering options sound fantastic, and they offer other extra things, like an ice sculptor my mom apparently wants.

In any case, the location is absolutely elegant, and can be very steampunk-ish - and definitely will be after a few decorations.


The second option is The Phoenix mansion. It was built in the 1893 and use to be a gentleman's club. It has great character as a result of it being built in 1893 and by the same person that designed Music Hall. There is a lovely room downstairs that use to host their restaurant until they closed it that would work for the reception, and a Grand Ballroom that would be lovely for the ceremony. Or vice versa.

Other options included: The Oscar Event Center next to Jungle Jim's, the Loveland Castle (of course), and Laurel Court (which doesn't have a whole lot of pictures, so we may visit this one still).

If there are any other venues you think we should check out, please let us know! :D

Friday, July 2, 2010

In the Beginning (the dress)...

As I've mentioned before, I've been sketching out dress designs for months.

The first one I created, in the previous post is still my mother's favorite.

More recently, I took a picture of myself and have been photoshopping drawings on top of the image to see what the dress would actually look like on me, which I think has been pretty successful so far. For example, I figured out that the dress in the previous image makes my arms look huge because of how I have the sleeves. So I've fiddled around with different layers of different sleeves - from poofy to strappy.

The Steampunk influences in the dress involve it being a more modern victorian dress, which makes it a lot more sexy than the modest outfits they wore in the 19th century. Also, several decorative devices (the gear design motif, a fancy metal waist decoration of some kind, etc...) bring the steampunk theme more into fruition.

It's hard for me to stay away from French Victorian or Elizabethan design, however. Which, while they might work with steampunk, they would probably end up looking more like a fancy Ren Fair costume rather than a wedding dress. Which, by the way, to call the dress I'm going to wear a "costume" offends me, so please, don't do it.

Mallory, Myra, Sam, and I are going dress-looking today. I'm thinking we're only going to stop at Wendy's Bridal and David's Bridal in Florence. We're just looking and maybe trying on things, very informal visit. Hopefully we don't do too much dress-up, haha. The first dress will be a genuine "we're interested in seeing how this looks" and the rest will be "let's make her wear that!" :-)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In the Beginning (the cake)

So now that we're planning, and I have a few good designs, we are working out the details.

We haven't even decided a budget yet, which I'm going to leave those sort of numbers out of the blog, but my mother wants to make sure everything is the highest quality it can be. For example, the cake. We've joked about getting a cake from Charm City Cakes (AKA "Ace of Cakes" as seen on Food Network). I contacted them the other day and they promptly got back to me.

First off, the cake. My original inspiration is a cake I saw when researching steampunk images. Each tier of the cake would be on a different platform. The tiers would be shaped kinda skewed and would be white fondant with wood accents and my gear design. However, the biggest part of the cake would be the table on which it would be displayed. In my head, I see a beautiful wood display table (as in, a glass top that can be lifted to place objects) and the display is full of moving gears that rotate the central pole that extends out of the glass. It would have several arms attached to it, which hold the platforms the tiers sit on. This would allow the tiers to rotate in a circle.

Secondly, back to Charm City Cakes, I live in Cincinnati and their shop is in Baltimore, which is about an 8 hour drive. So we knew a delivery would be expensive. However, not $3,500 expensive. On top of that, the cake would be at least $2,500.

Spending that much on a cake hurts my soul, so we are probably going to make the table ourselves and find a good local place and challenge them.

So far, we've visited an antique mall, but it was so big we didn't really get a chance to look at everything very closely. I'll take pictures next time we go.

Lastly, I mentioned a gear design that I'm working on that will be a common motif in the invitations and my dress. Gears that are layered to replicate a flower arrangement.

So tell me, what is something you would love to see at a steampunk wedding (that preferably wouldn't cost that much money)?


It was randomly at our bi-weekly anime club where it was mentioned that if Travis and I were to ever get married, that we should theme it Steampunk, and I fell in love.

With Steampunk, that is, as I'd been in love with Travis for some time by that point.

Immediately my collection of images grew, my research became more in-depth, and my drawings were headed in a very "this-is-my-wedding-gown" direction. For a good six months probably, I've been doodling and working out decor in my head while constantly reminding myself not to get my hopes up, I've had relationships that didn't work out before when I was telling myself I would be with them forever.

Lucky for me, this isn't one of those relationships and now there is an ACTUAL wedding I can plan for!

How it Happened...

Travis and I had been dating for one year and five months. On June 20th we went to Topsail Island for a week holiday, which is an island right off the coast of North Carolina and I recommend it as a less-touristy Myrtle Beach.

The first night we arrived, Travis had driven the entire 14 hours, but since the beach was so close we decided to visit it after settling into the beach house with our company.

We looked at sea shells and joked about random things for a bit, when he began telling me how much he loves me and doesn't know what he'd do without me. I reciprocated his feelings.

"Well, do you know one way I can be sure to not lose you?" he asked, and I was going to say "Grow two heads", but realized that that was more of a deterrent. During my speechlessness, he pulled out a little green box with a beautiful ring inside.

Sunset, on the beach, on one knee, and I said "yes". Along with a few high-pitched "reeeallly?!?!"'s haha.

We stood on the beach for a good 15 minutes just hugging and doing the whole cheesy thing... you know kissing, staring into each others eyes, etc...

That was how it happened, hope it's gooey enough for you :D