CHIC TWO-DAY WEDDING + TOP 5 LOVE TIPS | Vera Wang, Kate Spade & La Boheme + The Bachelorette Lesson, “How Not to Behave When Searching for Love.”

Can you help me pick up those names I just dropped?  Thanks, I appreciate it.

Ok, SO.  It’s late in the afternoon, do you know where your Knotty is?  ;)

Alright buckle up, because HERE WE GO…

Due to popular demand and NOT AT ALL personal enjoyment (at least that’s what I tell myself), I am addressing what I seriously hope was the last episode I’d be sleeping through of this year’s Bachelorette: The Shut. Up. Season.  Or, to employ one of Honey’s outbursts last night while I subjected him yet again to this misery… The Bachelorette: The “OOOOHHHH MY GOD she needs to stop saying his naaaaaammme already!” Season.

I’ve been going back and forth on the best way to give you my report before I get to today’s gorgeous wedding, and I’ve decided to go with a list of “How Not to Behave When Searching for Your One True Love.”  But before we get to it, a preface…

Sometimes, in this crazy thing we call life, there are people who just have that *something* special.  It can be hard to pinpoint.  But the one thing that’s for sure is that they have it, it’s theirs, and it really doesn’t matter what they do, because this *thing* about them is also their ticket to getting away with anything.  Case in point – John Mayer.  He is a despicable, empty human being whose tongue both elicits the widespread adoration of fans, as well as gets him into loads of trouble.  He says things about women that make my skin crawl.  He treated Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson with disrespect, in a public forum.  That’s NEVER ok.  He may just be lost, emotionally, but that does not excuse his behavior.

And STILL, I, and countless others on this Earth, would very much delight in sitting on his face as soon as that tongue spews forth the first lyric of pretty much any of his songs.  (With the exception, of course, of “Waiting on the World to Change.”)

Ashley’s unhealthy, ridiculous and frighteningly obsessive infatuation with Bentley (especially after 7 seconds of knowing him) reminds me of what I’ll call The John Mayer Syndrome [ ← COINED].  And I do not doubt that John Mayer is the manipulative type when alone with the women he screws over, much in the same way Bentley has been with Ashley.

What makes this situation unique, however, is the fact that Ashley is the most annoying human being on the face of the Earth.

And so, beyond the obvious reasons of being wholly disappointed when he didn’t see Emily’s round, supple, exceptionally perky breas-excuse me, FACE, Emily’s face – I meant Emily’s face… I’m starting to see very clearly why Bentley effed with Ashley.  And at this point, I almost don’t mind it, at all.  Thing is, Ashley seems to be just now learning the important lessons relating to dating, love and TMI that I’m pretty confident I learned all the way back in pre-through-grade school, right after Sharing and immediately before Nap Time.  That’s where you learn these lessons, Kindergarten through fifth grade.  Because when you don’t know what sex is (at least, when I was in grade school you didn’t – SIIIIGH KIDS TODAY), you talk and have somewhat meaningful conversations and friendships instead.  Whoa what a concept.

Ok, here we go – Exhibit A:

Bentley: “Knowing that I’m home, it’s… it doesn’t look good… for me and you… and I would implore you to do all that you can to see what you have here, I guess.

An Appropriate Response: “Hmm, clearly you have no interest in being with me.  Ok, have a great life!”

Ashley’s Response: “So… this is our ‘period?’  Bentley there are some points in life where you just have to be a man and just admit that.”

Ashley, see above, where Bentley says he implores you to find someone other than him.  Because, I mean -

Seriously, hello in there?  Anybody thinking inside that head of yours?  Guess not, because Ashley goes on to say…


And, again, Bentley lays down the law, of course, in his own totally manipulative way, but still, it’s hardly unclear…

Bentley: “I feel like, with where you’re at, in this whole journey and process… maybe we should call it a period.

An Appropriate Response: Ok, yeah, I heard you before… I’m already on the other side of the door to your hotel room and about to shut it, aright?  Jeez, MESSAGE RECEIVED.”

Ashley’s Response: “So you came all the way here, when you could have just talked to me on the phone?  Why?

Bentley: SILENCE.

Ashley, still fishing for something: “Don’t worry I’m not fishing for anything – I’m just curious… Why are you looking at me like that, Bentley.”

Now, regarding her *full disclosure conversations* with the rest of the guys she’s gonna try to make it worth with…

I think it was around first grade when I learned that you can’t tell a boy who likes you that you’ve been thinking about another boy while you’ve been out in the sandbox with him (or jaunting around Hong Kong with him trying new foods and generally being a bore, depending on your level of privilege in society) but that you’re like so totally past that other boy now, and that you just want to be honest as you go on this journey with him, all full disclosure-like.

BOYS – AND MEN, FOR THAT MATTER – DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT OTHER BOYS AND MEN WHEN THEY ARE WITH YOU.  In fact, I’m sure my Honey is still reeling a bit from my John Mayer commentary up top.  IT’S HUMAN NATURE.

That, friends, is a pre-requisite to the following list of my Top 5 Love Tips regarding “How Not to Behave When Searching for Your One True Love.”

Step 1. Ok the first one is kind of obvious.  It’s don’t go on the television show “The Bachelorette.”  But assuming this is too tall an order for you, read on…

Step 2. Ok, so I see you decided to ignore Rule 1.  And that’s fine!  It’s fine.  But then, if you make the show, before you start filming be sure to take word pronunciation classes to remove any off-putting, overly privileged sounding nuances in your dialect before they wreak havoc on your interviews and effectively make the world dislike you and everything for which you stand.  Specifically, ask your instructor to focus on your pronunciation of certain words and phrases you already know are problem areas, including BUT NOT LIMITED TO: “per-FACT,” “after you LAFT,” “moving FOH-ward,” and “neg-LACTing.”  Once completed, move on to Step 3…

Step 3. Find a reputable spray tanning facility and stick with it.  Fly back and forth from Hong Kong to America if you must, just avoid AT ALL COSTS the Umpa Lumpa Effect.  Once you’ve purchased your weekly flights, you are ready to move on to Step 4…

Step 4. Your hair’s fine.  Your bangs are fine.  (Well not really but let’s just say they are for the sake of discussion.)  Usually playing with hair is an indicator of attraction, but you’re just fussing out of insecurity.  So… STOP THAT.  STOP.  STOP IT.  Stop moving it aside, because, when permitted to fall where it may, it does a great job of covering up your orange forehead. ← This is a best case scenario for you.

Step 5. Still don’t go on the show.  Like one single couple has gotten married so far.  It’s like a prescription drug for headaches that has a 95% chance for side effects, including but not limited to: death.

OKELYDOKELY!  Let’s move on to this wedding submitted by the fantabulous Christina Diane Weddings, shall we?  Yes, yes we shall.  Because it is SOOOOO much more awesome than The Bachelorette.  I mean, for starters, it involves an incredibly happy, super healthy and madly in love couple.  Great start, eh?  I agree.  Second, they took a not so traditional approach to their wedding experience, and I’m excited for you guys to hear about it!  A wedding doesn’t HAVE TO take place all on one day… did you know that?  Ok, enjoy, lovelies!

And here’s our lovely couple, dancing the night away…

Oh but wait… that’s not all, of course…

Are you ready for my favorite part?  This won’t come as a surprise, obvs., but still…


High kick, woot!  Gotsta love the photo booth dance party.  Ya just GOTSTA.

Here’s the rundown from our lovely bride:

From the outset, John and I made a few key decisions that shaped the way our engagement and wedding evolved.  We wanted our ceremony to be very small and private, we wanted a big party to celebrate with all of our friends, and we didn’t want to get distracted by everyone else’s ideas about what a wedding should be.  We decided that we would get married in a City Hall ceremony on Friday with only immediate family in attendance, and would hold a reception on Saturday night.  To focus our efforts further, we agreed on 3 concepts that we felt reflected who we are as a couple:  we love to travel, we love great food and wine, and we love to have a great time.

Both of us are from the East Coast and have many close friends and family who had never been to San Francisco.  After considering a lot of different options, we decided to throw a “destination wedding” right here in our own backyard.  San Francisco has such a rich history, amazing sights, and incredible food and we really wanted to showcase the city for our guests.  The idea of a classic city wedding that captured the old school glamour of San Francisco became our theme.

The Julia Morgan Ballroom was the first location we looked at and from the moment we stepped inside, we knew that it would be our venue.  It perfectly captured the mood and feel we were going for – and Linda Hylen, the event coordinator – really embraced and understood the type of event we wanted to throw for our friends and family.

Although the ballroom is incredibly elegant, we didn’t want it to be stuffy – instead we wanted a fun, casual environment with a lounge-type feeling.  Kathleen Deery helped us to execute this vision perfectly by arranging furniture vignettes among high-top tables and more traditional tables.  We merely enhanced the existing beauty of the space with neutral colors:  gold tablecloths, white flowers, and as many candles as the fire marshall would allow.  We also setup a simple photo booth with a variety of props that our guests used to express themselves in creative poses.

Instead of a seated dinner, we opted for 3 food stations, and SpringLoaf Catering helped us to design a fun menu that reflected different San Francisco neighborhoods:  “Potrero Hill” was a comfort food station with mac & cheese, cornbread, and pulled pork sandwiches.  “Fisherman’s Wharf” was clam chowder in a bread bowl and tilapia; and “the Mission” was ceviche and chicken skewers.  For dessert we went with an ice cream bar and a variety of toppings.  The final, but critical component to our vision for the evening was our music.  As soon as dinner was over, we killed the lights and DJ Jeremy Downing kept the dance floor packed until the end of the night.

The first piece of advice I would offer to any person planning a wedding is to design an event that reflects who you are and not worry too much about what other people are going to think.  We dispensed with almost all of the traditional formalities you associate with a wedding (formal entrance, a seating chart, a wedding cake, a wedding party) and kept only the ones that we felt were important for us (a first dance).  Both City Hall and the reception were so special in different ways and we felt that we really had the chance to enjoy and celebrate each unique experience.  The second piece of advice I would offer is to surround yourself with vendors that you like and trust.  With any large-scale event there will be moments of stress and hiccups along the way; however, I had so much respect for the talent of all of the people that we worked with and trust that they understood and shared our vision. That belief provided a sense of security throughout the weekend and helped us enjoy ourselves far more than I would have expected. It all helped us pull off what we consider to be the best event of our lives.

OK, SO… thoughts?  You know the drill; on ANY or ALL (or totally randomly NONE) of the above.  Alrighty, can’t wait to chat! :)

xoxo!  – Alison

Photography: Christina Diane Weddings / Catering: Springloaf Catering / Flowers + Event Design: Kathleen Deery Design / Hair: Laura Kingston of Barnets Salon / Make up: Sophia Coyne / DJ: DJ Jeremy Productions / Venue: Julia Morgan Ballroom / Dress: J. Crew (Day 1) / Veil: Anne Michelle Heirloom via Etsy (Day 1) / Dress: Vera Wang (Day 2), purchased through Bridal Galleria / Hairpiece: LaBoheme via Etsy (Day 2) / Shoes: Kate Spade (both days) / Earrings: Viv & Ingrid / Rings: I Gorman Jewelers / Invitations (image): Greg Young / Invitations (graphic designer) A Arthur Fisher

Label(s): Beige/brown, Color, Green, Grey, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. J (SparklyLove) on June 28, 2011

    Just like you should always read the book before you see the movie, I’ve found that I enjoy reading your Bachelorette Breakdowns THEN watching the train wreck on my DVR. It’s double the giggles when I go “OMG Alison was SOOO RIGHT!”

    Ps. that photo booth dance party is AMAZING!

  2. Jenna on June 28, 2011

    I want to spend the rest of my life in that photo booth.

  3. Lena on June 28, 2011

    I have to watch the Bachelorette on Tuesday in order to prepare for your recap posts-and this did NOT disappoint. Who else knows how much Ashley’s hair fussing BOTHER THE BEJESUS out of me? Obviously all the nonsense with Bentley and her unwillingness to actually hear the words he was saying made me want to pull out my hair and gouge out my eyes with a roughly hewn spoon coated in hot wax, but I’m realizing that no only do I wish Ashley was more mature, I don’t particularly like the guys. Really, not a single one I’d let pet my imaginary dog or hold a door open for me.

    So THANK HEAVEN there was this gorgeous wedding to follow up all that nonsense. Because this one is a total stunner-the combination of urban and rustic elements is just gorgeous!


  4. Alison on June 28, 2011

    J – I seriously heart ya face. :)

    Jenna – I KNOWWWWW, RIGHT? Those booths are the bombdiddelyom. (I’m really summoning Flanders today, eh? Hmmm. Weird.)

    Lena – Seriously. SERIOUSLY. The show is such a bust. Those darned contracts they signed. If only! :)

  5. Kelly Sauer on June 28, 2011

    A majorly gorgeous wedding here – I LOVE!

    And the Bachelorette… Sigh. I actually kinda feel bad for her. National television is not really the place you want to do your growing up, and as annoyed as I am with her, as awful as this season has been going (and looks as if it will continue to go after last night’s preview), I just can’t help thinking how embarrassed I would be having to watch myself after this, knowing that everybody knows what I am. She signed a contract; she has to keep going, even if the whole thing tanks.

    But then, you spoke to this in points 1 and 5 on your list… ;-)

  6. Robbins Brothers on June 28, 2011

    RE: The Lionel Richie poster.. HOW on EARTH do you find these hilarious things??

    Thank you again for another lovely post! I love love love the informal reception set up. I’ve never thought of an informal reception setting (as in.. sans seating arrangements). That would take off SO MUCH stress out of a brides planning! Great idea! I would totally do it. Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t even watch The Bachelorette, but somehow.. I am so up to date on all the Ashley news. Haha! I love your HILARIOUS recaps. Thanks for keeping me in the loop!

    xo shulie

  7. Mimi Tilton on June 28, 2011

    Met Lionel Richie at LAX once (the airport, not the Vegas club). I say, “Wow, you’re Lional Richie.” and he fippantly responded with a ‘move aside large, white girl’ swish of his girlish hand, “Yes, I am.”

    Hated him ever since. … …. …

  8. Emily on June 28, 2011

    This is why I love this blog. Once again, you seamlessly weave together the MOST HYSTERICAL commentary about that wretched yet highly addictive (i.e. me – I can’t look away) show, touching on every single point that came to my head while I watched the thing last night… in anticipation of your recap rant, of course :) And you couple it with the most elegant and straightforwardly lovely wedding I’ve seen all week. Without skipping a beat.

    Please, don’t ever stop this. I look forward to your posts every day. They’re my therapy and my wedding inspiration, but in a cool bundle of read-worthy awesomeness!

  9. Christina Diane on June 28, 2011

    eeeeeeeee! Alison, you seriously crack me up. Thanks for the absolute best introduction to a fabulous San Francisco Soiree! The photobooth was definitely the highlight of the wedding… xoxoxoxox

  10. Lynn on June 28, 2011

    I adore your recap. You’re so funny. Laughed out loud a few times!

    This wedding is magnificent in its simplicity and understatedness (I think I made that word up, but it’s the best one I can think of). The bride and groom look like models, and their wedding looks like it was a blast, in no small part due to some great friends, great costume accessories and a super fun photo booth.

    Note… a photo booth was not on my list of “NEEDS”……until I read this post.

  11. Elle on June 28, 2011

    I had never seen the bachelorette or the bachelor before last night… I DO however what Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss edition because it totally makes me emotional and Chris isn’t so bad to look at….

    However, last night I was subjected to about 10 minutes of Ashley before my desired programming….

    Here are my questions for those of you that watch:
    1. What man would EVER go on this show? I’ve never met a dude that would feel comfortable a) competing for “love” while object of affection is sluttin’ it up with other dudes. b) proposing so quickly?? c) receiving a pinned rose as affirmation that he made it to the next round.

    ** I confirmed with sweetie and 2 guy friends that this seems unfathomable…

    2. Where the frack did they find this nutter, Ashley??? I heard her say *tearfully: “I don’t think I’m cut out for this.” “This is so hard” “Why is this happening to me” ……….. really??? Don’t you sign up for this rodeo?

    3. By the way Ms. Alison has summarized this past episode I am going to assume this show isn’t usually this bad???

    Lastly, you all should watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Again, I don’t usually go for reality TV, but this show makes me cry nearly every time I watch it….

  12. Alison on June 28, 2011

    Elle – Nope, the show is usually this bad. :) Also, you make killer points. Those bits baffle me on the daily, TRUST.

  13. Melanie S. on June 28, 2011

    To reassert what Alison has stated above, yup, the show really is always pretty ridiculous. Alison just does us brides-to-be the favor of making it hilariously ridiculous, instead of just plain old ridiculous. I don’t feel so stupid watching it now because my excuse is that I have to study up for her recaps. Helps me sleep at night.


  14. Wrapped Couture on June 28, 2011

    Alison, you are so hilarious and I always look forward to what you’re going to say. I can barely get through the posts withouth laughing so hard. I don’t watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette; have long since given them up. I totally agree that there is a 95% chance of a headache and side effects. Jason and Molly and Ryan and Tristen are the only ones that made it out strong! Your Lionel Riche poster was to die for and I almost died laughing when I saw that!!! It was so unexpected. The tips….OMG. They were so on point and pertainted to EVERY episode and every season that I’d ever watched!! You serious had to be the wisest class clown and I so love it!

    The wedding was so adorable and I loved the concept behind it.

  15. The Perfect Palette on June 28, 2011

    Okay, my Tuesday is complete now. I got to read your bachelorette recap!


    Oh, and did you just say you’d sit on John Mayer’s face. TOO funny!

    Anyways…I hope I was the one you tipped you off about tuning into the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding!! I tweeted about it the other day. Isn’t it so intriguing? Totally a train wreck. Can’t. look. away.

    xoxo, chrissy.

  16. eurjean on June 28, 2011

    loved the featured wedding! we’re trying to dispense with a few traditions with our own wedding and have met with some resistance from our family, but i’m sure once they see it all together they won’t miss the things we’ve skipped. now i feel so inspired :-)

  17. Stephanie on June 29, 2011

    The fiance and I are planning a 2-day affair as well! I think it is more important than ever to stay true to who you are as a couple; we are having a (small) family only ceremony in my grandmother’s backyard on a Sunday, going on our (four day) honeymoon and then having a huge (like 450+ people) reception the following Saturday. Being gone throughout the week means I can’t be stressing about reception details- and i’ll be super tan for all those awesome photobooth pictures!

  18. JenW on June 29, 2011

    Thank you thank you for the brilliant re-cap. So funny! And also, thanks to you I can act too cool for school and say, “oh I have never watch The Bachelorette.” When we all know secretly I am getting sucked into the train wreck like everyone else, but it’s just through this blog.

    That wedding is beautiful!! The photo of their menu totally made my mouth water. Love that they served “comfort food” for the wedding.

  19. ok that lionel richie pic cracked me up. love it. secondly, love this wedding! very creative and it looks like lots of fun. as for the bachelorette, ugh i cant stand her. she needs to stop being so annoying lol.

  20. JafGifts on July 4, 2011

    It really looks like everyone had a lot of fun at the wedding. It’s nice to see how the decos were set up and everything. Great job!

  21. Suedy Phillips on June 15, 2012

    Alison, you are a crack-up — I always look forward to what you’re going to say. I end up laughing my head off… Your Lionel Riche poster was hillarious and I almost died laughing when I saw that!!! Too funny. Tips were great. They were so on point and pertainted to EVERY episode and every season that I’d ever watched!! You serious had to be the wisest class clown and I so love it!
    The wedding was so adorable and I loved the concept behind it.

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