Paperzest and Jim Hjelm...my Kind of Day!

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I started my day with an noon appointment with my amazing invitiation designer, Christina, owner of Paperzest. She sent me a few breathtaking samples a month or so ago and today we had our follow-up meeting. The Paperzest showroom is in Herndon and it's like walking into a gorgeous living room. There's something about Christina's baby blue micro-suede sofas and graphic area rug that makes me want to sit and chat all day. If I could translplant that room into my living room, I'd be a happy camper. And as much as I love the aesthetic of her meeting space, that doesn't even compare to her invitation talent. I conveyed to her a few simple things, and what I got back was a little package of smart details and a true match for my vision. She comes very highly recommended by this bride-to-be.

Christina herself is a warm-hearted and inspirational person, which is why I'm so happy to be working with her. Here is a look at the sample and direction we're looking to go.

Then, I headed to Ellie's Bridal in Alexandria. As Miss Capitol Hill commented on my previous post, their Jim Hjelm selection left much to be desired. They only had two dresses from the most recent collection. There were maybe 20 dresses total from the past few seasons. The up side of this was that I could try on a few that were more in my price range since they were older, versus more than 3k. The downside was that I was really looking forward to trying on my dream dress and several others from the Spring 2008 collection..and might have even upped my budget if they lived up to the pictures.

The service at Ellie's was okay. You can only try on 5 dresses, so you have to go through the store and choose your favorites. Here are the two I ended up trying on from Jim Hjelm:

The were both...incredible....so much that I would spend more than I originally budgeted. The first one fit like a glove and I never wanted to take it off. It was so classicly beautiful. The second one I also adored. It's much more risque than the first, but it's a true contender.

The last dress I tried on was an Exclusive by Allure. They don't release photos of the Exclusives line on the internet because they are copies of designer dresses, according the attendant at Ellie's. She was right. I couldn't find a photo of the dress, but the Knotties came to the rescue. They started a board to house photos of the gowns, so I borrowed this from there.

This dress was gorgeous as well. The silk is so soft and the lace is very high quality. I would love to wear it with a vintage lace bolero or a satin ribbon at the waist to set off the bodice. It's half the price of the Hjelm gowns.

What do you guys think?