Friday, April 29, 2011

Ring a Ding King and Queen!

Sooo, I wasn't going to blog about the Royal Wedding because many more and far more talented people are doing it, but I'll admit the romance has gotten to me AND I need an easy way out of this evening's post due to exhaustion! I do love Kate Middleton's Grace Kelly throwback gown and thought the pouting bridesmaid as cute as anyone else, but with the grandeur of this wedding, how could your modest affair hope to live up to the new standards?

Princess Grace (Kelly) and Prince Ranier of Monaco

We can thank my college friend Taylor for providing tonight's link to Etsy's Royal Wedding List-- wander over and see if you, too, can be taken over by romance!

(And for those of us who are just a little bit geeky, E's Answer Bitch throws a political/historical bone or two our way!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ring a Ding Segue-- I mean Ding (Pt. 4)

I wanted this post to be about sashes because if we've learned nothing else from this week, it's that accessorizing is key! My wedding dress would have been totally unremarkable if it weren't for the sash, and I have seen a lot of dresses that needed just that little touch to make it memorable.

So what happens if you don't luck out on a dress with anything but a plain old sash? WELL, you segue on over to Amie Noel Designs on Etsy, that's what! She actually does mostly hair accessories, but her combination pieces are truly nifty...

One minute it's a hairpiece...

The next it's a sash!

Brilliant!! She has a couple of these designs (look for the headband/sash heading), and I'm willing to bet that if you asked nicely enough she could apply a couple of the others to a similar style. ALSO, in case your bouquet needs a sash as well (and what good bouquet doesn't? Let's face it, floral wire isn't gorgeous) she has these adorable and not-too-exorbitantly-priced bouquet ties!

Basically, I'm in love. There's a good chance that I will use sorority functions as an excuse to buy some of this just for myself! And yes, one of the labels IS "shiny" because that's what these are-- shiiiiny!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ring a Ding Ding (Pt. 3)

Have you picked up on a theme yet? Ring around your finger, ring around your neck/wrist (cut me a little slack here, I'm stuck on this Frank Sinatra thing), and now a ring around your head! Headpieces and veils are SO hard to decide on; everyone loves a cathedral veil, but who really wants to deal with that? And how big does your tiara need to be before the whispers of "nouveau riche" or "wannabe princess" start? And what about comfort? Do you WANT a big thing on top of your head all day?

I scoured Etsy when looking for mine, and encourage you to do the same-- even if you don't buy one you're bound to find some amazing things like this adorable little shop carries!

Be Something New is another Etsy find of mine, though this one didn't come through Heartsy like the last two-- this one just popped up by happenstance! I wish it had shown itself sooner, because what a perfect place to find a vintage headpiece, or something that's not a long flowing veil, OR something adorable for bridesmaids and flower girls!

These would be perfect for all three-- flower girls will feel pretty, and bridesmaids and brides will look understated and beautiful!

Bridesmaids in blue or yellow will look smashing with these daisies in their hair-- and how perfect that they won't fade away! Your gals can keep the headband for years to come and remember your wedding each time!

And for the outdoors wedding? C'est magnifique! Yes, I'm obsessed with spring weddings because I didn't get one, but how could you not be with a beautiful piece like this that would fit so perfectly? Alternatively, you could work it in to a winter wonderland sort of theme; it's really one of those things that will look lovely no matter when you wear it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ring a Ding Ding (Pt. 2)

OK, so AO Designs isn't carrying Rings per se, but she does have some amazing jewelry that are perfect not only for the woman building her family by addition, but by building her family through combination! I just picked up this beautiful garnet necklace (I'm in love with my birthstone, what of it?) and some earrings as well.

I'm having the hearts stamped with my initial and my husband's, and husbands to be take note-- this would be a terribly sweet present for your wife to be!

There are a few beautiful necklaces that would be perfect bridesmaids gifts for a spring wedding; a friend of mine picked the eggs in a nest necklace in pistachio-- one for each child she has running around the house! The stylish bridesmaid would no doubt be pleased as punch to have one of these delicate little items hanging around her neck. 

There are beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and initial pieces that would be perfect for the bridesmaid, flower girl, cat of honor, and mothers of brides/grooms alike! I know my mother in law loves family pieces, and if you picked one up of these Small Circles necklaces, you can contact Angela for more discs as your family grows.

Head on over to see the other beautiful pieces she has for sale-- you won't be sorry, and you may just end up as addicted as I am!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ring a Ding Ding (Pt. 1)

Many people have trouble finding an affordable wedding set, and perhaps moreso with mens rings than with women's. My husband and I ended up buying dummy rings from Target not only because we were dirt poor, but also because we couldn't find anything we honestly liked!

To be up front, I am obsessed with the online coupon fad-- the Groupons, Half off Depots, and ScoutMobs make my life complete! My most recent find is Heartsy, which does the same thing for Etsy shop owners. It. Is. Brilliant! My second one, which happened by a fortuitous chance, is for June Designs. I was so excited to find an affordable silver ring to add to the wedding set my husband and I are slowly building!

Joelle's's designs are a mix of classic, simple, and earthy-- you get everything from simple bands in every metal imaginable to rings with adorable items perched on top, and she even works with stones as well. (There aren't any in her shop at the moment, but she IS working on a custom piece involving diamonds) 

I know not all of us are game for a simpler ring, but for those of us who are these are some really excellent options--for those of us who aren't, just send Joelle a message and see what she can work up for you. Anyone who has rose gold at their disposal has to have something amazing up their sleeve! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Something for Everyone!

I've been thinking about this particular subject for a while now-- ever since the press started pondering the menu at Chelsea Clinton's wedding. Many outlets slammed the family's assumed choice of a vegan, gluten-free wedding, and shamed them for pressing their own dietary needs on the guests, and though I generally would agree with that, I'm quite certain that the Clinton/Mezvinsky event had enough funding to get some tip top options. But what about you? What if you can't afford to dish out $100/head? 

I believe that you should put out something for everyone at your reception-- yes, the wedding day is "all about you" but your guests are there to help you celebrate and have surely been a part of your life and therefore a part of everything leading up to this day. Notice that I didn't say audience, I said guests... When you have an intimate dinner party, it's easier to know off the top of your head if you should adjust the menu for allergies or dietary lifestyles, but a party of more than 10? That gets tricky.

This is where a buffet comes in handy-- sure, it's not as formal as a sit down dinner, but that doesn't mean it can't be just as classy and high-brow. These days, companies like Avalon Catering offer some amazing choices for a cocktail reception (fancy speak for buffet), including Georgia peaches wrapped in serrano ham, cheese and preserves, tortellini, pork shoulder, and oh so many more. If you're doing stations (another form of buffet), they offer h'ors dourves like gazpacho, lighter fare like bean salad, sage tarts, pasta salads, and main courses like Georgia trout and beef brisket! 

The point is that no matter your dietary needs and the needs of your guests, looking in to the cocktail and station alternatives may be the best way to suit everyone's needs and provide delicious food at the same time!

The buffet at my friend Jill-Marie's wedding-- Chopped BBQ Pork, Crab Souffle, Fresh Crudite, Stone Ground Grits, Cheddar Cheese Ring

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wedding Day Munchies

My husband and I went to an art opening last night that featured a couple of new businesses of the food type-- my favorite were the treats set out by Bear Maker Bakery! They had cherry lime-ade cookies, amaretto bites, bourbon pecan shortbread, and Nutella cupcakes. YUM! My wedding had cupcakes because my husband bakes and we didn't have several thousand to throw at a cake; the cupcakes were a hit and we got to choose loads of different flavors! BMB got me thinking last night about a wedding dessert bar. What couldn't you do with a dessert bar?

Amy Atlas Events of New York designs some AMAZING dessert tables, and I think they're just perfect for a unique wedding or event.

Imagine an amazing spring time or carnival-themed event, or even having little bags on the corner for a build your own favor table!
A romantic winter wedding would look stunning with these yummy chocolates and lolipop trees adorning your dessert table. Even a spring wedding or Valentine's would benefit from the dreamy feel.
Halloween weddings are growing in popularity, and why not? Look at all the fun you can have with the dessert table; I can only imagine the fun plans for the reception and guests!

I know we all love the tradition of the cake cutting, and there's nothing to say that you can't have a cake at the center of your dessert table design, but think about these options when considering your budget. A delicious cake from the Publix bakery with fondant and decoration will run you around $40, and the treats you put all over the table for your guests to much on can cost under $200 depending on your head count, so why bother spending $400+ for a wedding cake that perhaps not everyone can enjoy? 

Get creative, go a little crazy, take some queues from the brilliant Amy Atlas and add that something special to your event!  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

All Dressed Up

So you read my last post and wanted to know your options if you DO want to be a princess? Never fear, that post is here! Now, I could start talking about the ball gown version of yesterday's Badgley Mishka, but where's the fun in that when designer Alfred Angelo has teamed up with Disney to make REAL princess inspired dresses?! The collage is a little rough, but here you go...

1. Snow White, 2. Jasmine, 3. Belle,
4. Cinderella, 5. Ariel, 6. Tiana

No doubt about it, these dresses are everything a proper Princess Bride dreams about! From tulle and taffeta to sequins and silk to ruffles and rhinestones, Alfred Angelo delivers! Though I'm more of a purist on my Disney designs (Ariel and Jasmine are my least favorite of the above dresses, but two of my favorite princesses) I'm definitely in love with the designs and the feeling they must give when they're on! I'm dying to sneak in to one of the boutiques and try each of them on to review their weight and wear.

The look is fantastic and you're sure to turn heads and get that gasp you always dreamed of, but as a friend and consultant, I couldn't let you pick one of these princess dresses or any other without considering the following:

One of the nit picky things about big dresses is their weight. When watching "Say Yes to the Dress", you can look at the Kleinfeld's employees when they drag some of the ball gowns out and see how much those dresses weigh-- upwards of 30-40lbs! Can you imagine putting on a dress that weighs roughly a quarter to a third of your own weight? My sister in law had such a dress-- it was a third if not more of her body weight and bustled up in the back so she could dance. She was gorgeous and loved her dress until the week after her wedding when her back hurt so badly she had to lay down most days to stretch it out. Now, she's a pretty tiny girl, so I'm not saying this will happen to all of you, but if you have a big dress try it on for a half hour at the salon; dance around in it, practice sitting and standing and bustling (if necessary). The salon won't hold it against you, wherever you are, because they want you to be happy and comfortable in it-- a happy customer is one who will send her friends there after all!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dressed Down

Last week, I talked a bit about bridesmaids dresses-- I want to do the same thing this week with wedding dresses!

Little girls of my generation grew up with big poofy gowns and silk and taffeta and all those lovely remnants of the 70's and 80's, not too different from the dress up clothes for girls of many generations, and between dress up and Disney movies (two of my favorite things, for the record) we grow up imagining the shoulder-tastic dresses of ArielCinderella, and the real-life icon Diana Princess of Wales. But then we get older and we realize that the large number of us look a little bit silly in those dresses... in a fit of princess-inspired mania, I picked out this little number 

I don't know how well you can see, BUT the dress is eating my underarms. And I couldn't move. Or breathe very well for that matter. The skepticism is clear on my face... I skipped out on this one and opted for a dress in which I could sit, dance, and eat during my special day, and after meeting a large number of brides who were unable to do at least one of those things without at least minor discomfort I have to wonder WHAT we are thinking!

I'm telling you now-- you should look gorgeous on your wedding day, you should wear a dress that makes you feel like queen of the world, but you should also be able to eat because take it from me... two Krispy Kreme doughnuts at 10a are not going to last you through pictures, ceremony, more pictures, packing up, getting to the reception, first dance, toasts, hellos... well, you get the picture. On the other hand, what if you don't want to look like a princess? What if you want to look like you? There are plenty of options; who says you have to wear a full length dress?

First up is one from my favorite place, ModCloth. It's light and airy, casual but classic and classy, and with a fascinator and a beautiful bouquet could be the PERFECT dress for a summer wedding! I'm also in love with a few fabulous finds from Nordstroms, like this Sue Wong strapless dress with ostrich feathers 

Or, if you like the feathers and want more flow, check out this Badgley Mishka number from Neiman Marcus:

These are, for the most part, dresses that would be categorized as "reception dresses" which is a topic I'll tackle another time, but I see no reason why they wouldn't be just as at home walking down the aisle at a beach wedding, indie wedding, spring or summer wedding, or wherever you want to wear them!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bridesmaid's Dresses

When you hear the phrase "bridesmaids dresses" you may think of some cute little numbers chain stores like David's Bridal and Dessy Group have come out with in the last few years or you may think of Katherine Heigl's overstuffed closet of monstrosities from "27 Dresses" with plenty of tulle, satin, and pastels to boot. When I hear the phrase "bridesmaids dresses" I think of endless opportunities!

At my wedding, my bridesmaids all wore different styles of the same color dress from David's Bridal-- the color coordinated with a sash on my dress and each woman had fun picking out a dress that fit her shape and style! Emily, on the far right, was in a wedding several months earlier with similar colors to mine so she chopped off the bottom of her dress and made it in to a shawl! There are several good reasons for going with this tactic, especially if you have a long engagement planned:

1) Your bridesmaids will thank you for letting them wear something flattering
2) Your unique wedding will be even moreso
3) You will get to showcase not only yourself, but the amazing women who have undoubtedly done their fair share of work for your big day
4) Your bridesmaids may be able to find something more within their budget range
5) Your friends will have a dress they are more likely to wear again in the future, which makes laying down $100+ on a dress a little less painful!

So what started this all in my head? Why this post? Because of this dress:

This is the Limerick Lass Dress from Modcloth and I'm dying to own it. This dress just screams Spring wedding, not to mention it looks comfortable and has a small amount of customization to it. (the bow around the waist is a removable sash) It made me think-- what would I have done if I wanted everyone to wear the same dress? What have I advised some of my clients who are looking for alternative options to do? Just what I'm doing tonight-- browsing stores online! From Nordstrom's to Bluefly, to more independent online shops like Modcloth, there are endless options for the frugal, fashionable, and unique wedding party!

I love everything vintage, so it's extremely hard for me to narrow down my choices, but here are a few categories to help break up the visuals...

Spring Weddings

In addition to the Limerick Lass dress above, I love the City of Emeralds Dress with its flowing layers just begging to be worn to an evening wedding in March or April. The Kennebunkport Dress, seen below, is the epitome of (duh) a beach or bay wedding with classic lines.

The Bubbling Over dress is another classic dress with a flirty skirt and top that's made for an afternoon wedding!

Romantic Weddings

Well of course weddings are romantic, but I mean in the Walt Whitman kind of way-- a touch of florals, wispy fabrics, and light colors kind of romantic. If this is your game, I would be remiss if I didn't send you to the Blossoming Clouds dress...

You should also take a look at the over-one-shoulder styles that come in several colors, like the SoCal Bungalow Dress and the Fluid Dynamics Dress.

Vintage Chic

I'm trying not to wear you out, but I would be completely remiss if I didn't send you to look at the next three dresses! Vintage weddings are huge right now, and with plenty good reason-- the styles are classic, the lines flattering, and nobody's cooler than a dame who knows what she wants. What do I want? These babies:

Just imagine sending these dresses down the aisle before you show up in a beautiful silk and lace sheath with a fascinator pinned to your updo-- talk about a wow factor!

I'll end it on that bombshell, but see below for a few more dresses I'd love to see walking down the aisle as an introduction!

Atop the Grand Staircase (a must have for a holiday wedding!)


One of the most important things in designing a wedding is inspiration. Whether it's a dress, a flower, or even a basic color, your inspiration will set the tone and all other decisions for the event! This blog will not only be an outlet for tips and fun ideas, but also an outlet for things that inspire me and may inspire you!