“THE FIRST FOUR WORDS DESCRIBE YOU” + REAL TALK | I have discovered the wedding trend of my ironic, hipster dreams. Also, Kim Kardashian is my hero?

Oh hello there, everyone.  Happiest of afternoons to your faces!  I hope your day is going pleasantly… is this something I can safely assume?  Do you mind if I just go ahead and assume it?  Great.  Ok, here comes me talking…

I’ve got something very serious to talk about today, and it’s about being true to myself, as well as finally putting something to rest.

But FIRST, I saw this on the Today Show this morning and wanted to share it with you.  Look at the smiley face built out of words below.  The first four words you notice are supposed to be descriptive of you and your personality.  Ok, GO:

By the way the first four words I saw, in order, were passionate, naive, charismatic and sentimental.  Actually, full disclosure: I saw “mental” before I realized it was part of the larger, “sentimental.”  I don’t know if that’s relevant… but I kind of feel that that’s relevant.

What did you see?  BE HONEST.  It’s more fun that way.  Ok, now onto the real topic of this post.

Here’s the thing.  Sometimes, and especially in a career like mine, there are moments.  Moments when one has to sit back and y’know, really assess the mission.  For me, this refers to the occasional struggle to remind myself that, no matter what, the mission here is and always has been to motherf***ing keep it real.  This, it isn’t news.  But that does not mean that I sit here confident and reckless; I am human.  I have feelings, I have insecurities and I have concerns.  And so, I sometimes hesitate when diving into a topic, or worry if I should delete this reference or that word or this or that image – this is only natural, given the reality of my situation, which is a constant acquisition of new lovely readers, advertisers, and friendships within the industry.  I’m human, I don’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities or take an unnecessary jab at someone’s taste, because chances are that that someone could be and probably is a reader, at this point in TKB’s existence.  But at the same time, I also try my best to encourage myself to just keep on keeping it motherf***ing rizzeal.

I’m sure you understand that this can sometimes introduce conflict within me.  Stifle my gangsta flow.  Here I am, the real me; I will not lie about these things.  And yes, there is that constant hanging concern that I might step out too far one day, and risk pissing somebody, somewhere, off.  Much in the way I just pissed off people who love grammar, by ending that sentence with “off,” for example.  But it is especially during these challenging moments, these difficult moral dilemmas, that I, Alison, close my eyes and call upon that majestic light in the darkness, that nothing if not wholly morally-driven femme fatale, that goddess of doing the right thing… the one, the only, Kim Kardashian.

Because Kim K?  When she planned a lavish wedding involving innumerable honest, caring, invested and hard-working wedding vendors, and then totally slapped that wedding in the face upon her discovery that the day wasn’t going to provide a strong enough tsunami of memories to sustain a lifetime of meaningless marriage with a man she kind of doesn’t know… in all of these decisions, she didn’t let ‘morals,’ or ‘her brain’ or ‘her fans’ trust’ or ‘well-thought-out-decision making’ or ‘that guy she married’ or ‘an appropriate courtship period for two people who don’t live near one another and therefore probably haven’t discussed deeply relevant issues intrinsic to the fabric and foundation of what it means to have a successful marriage’ interfere.  NO.  She did her.  The way I do me.  She kept it real, Kim-style.  She didn’t let ANY OF THOSE THINGS stand in the way of flippanty acting upon her deepest desires no matter how ridiculous; desires which are, in themselves, driven-entirely-by-deep-seated-unresolved-insecurity-issues-that-developed-in-her-formative-years-and-rule-her-every-decision-which-is-a-bad-thing-in-the-long-run-and-really-someone-should-step-in-with-some-therapy-but-not-Dr-Drew-he’s-in-it-for-the-wrong-reasons-now-and-is-nothing-like-the-man-I-so-loved-listening-to-on-LoveLine-with-what-turned-out-to-be-that-kinda-douchy-Adam-Corolla.  Point is, Kim follows her heart, and doesn’t let the static of ‘loved ones’ or ‘healthy thinking’ interfere.

And so.  I, Alison, inspired by the insane behavior of that unbridled sexpot of a hot air balloon, will do the undoable.  I. will. answer. this reader question.

Dear TKB:

I’m dying to know, how do you really feel about mustaches?



PS – I hope this question makes the blog.

Dear S,

First, I am your dreamweaver because this is me granting your wish.  Second, thank you for what I am certain is a highly sarcastic, but extremely relevant question.  I can tell you’ve been privy to my occasional tweets concerning the trend, as well as my rare but fiery moments of lamenting about it right here on the blog.  Most everyone who visits me and reads the randomness herein knows at least a little bit about my position on Ye Ol’ Mustache Prop.  And I’ll have you know that it is my immense pleasure to answer your question, on the double.

Let’s get to it: How do I, Alison, feel about the meteoric rise of what has now become the most overused, omnipresent prop of our age?

Ahh yes, the mustache.  Or is it moustache?  Ahh, who knows, who cares.  Anyway the mouzestasche is a trend for which I’ve been around since its beginnings.  Which are who the hell knows where.  Just somebody started making mustache wands, and they happened to go really well with photo booths, relaxed the guests into tantalizing states of willingness to *be themselves* and to explore the inner comedian/comedienne within, and so, it was written.  The trend was born.  Don’t quote me on that.  I just don’t have the time or interest to discover its true origins, and I doubt you really want to know them, either.  So, moving on.

As someone who has seen the trend persevere through seasons upon seasons, and then upon additional seasons, and then through even more seasons on top of those previously mentioned seasons, and then a few more seasons (← these were the seasons that really shocked us), and then beyond the seasons everyone was SURE it was about to die out… as someone who has seen this happen, I can tell you from experience that this mustache prop thing?   It isn’t going away.

But you know what?  I will have you know that I, like most, totally loved the trend when it started.  And I’ll continue to feature weddings involving the mustache prop, because I get how much fun and joy it can bring to a party.  I get it, I do!  I do.  But it was around forever ago that I used to wish, DREAM even, that people would stop it already with the mustache wands.  And the mugs with the little mustaches opposite where you sip, so it looks like you’re wearing a mustache while you drink your tea.  And the stationery with the little mustaches on it.  And yada yada yada.  Because it just seemed to be showing up EVERYWHERE I TURNED.  And I soon found that, as I spoke out about it, there were countless others who felt similarly – nay, shared my dream – and prayed, once closeted in their hate, for the demise, finally, of the mustache prop.

And then something happened.  You see, I’ll readily admit to my hope that the ‘mustache prop’ doesn’t live on forever, but that is an emotion based purely upon my desire as a wedding blogger to see weddings and, as it were, wedding submissions, continue to evolve and find new ideas, new trends, and new ways to wow our collective face RIGHT OFF OF OUR FACE’S FACES.

And then this happened, right in my face:

the ironic homage discussed below, form of: cotton candy ↑

Friends, can we join hands, for a minute?  What we are witnessing today is the evolution of the mustache prop.  It was a matter of time before this transpired.  What is *this* you ask?  It is a welcomed nuance on a trend that has seen its last days.  Please?  Let’s agree that it’s its last days, that it’s seeing?  Please can we?  Anyway, I’m so totally excited right now, because what this FREAKING ADORABLE couple has shown us is what I’m going to call, “The Ironic Homage to Ye Ol’ Overdone Mustache Prop.”  [← COINED]

Ok I’m gonna return from the moon now, and join y’all back on Earth.

I’m truly excited to share with you guys the fab shoot and write-up I received from Kristen, the beautiful bride who sent in today’s FANTASTIC engagement session shot by Valerie Wheeler of VNW Photography.  It’s sort of the only shoot I’ve seen recently that featured mustaches I would totally back, personally.  In real, not to mention badass, form (Ryan’s face) and in prop form (ironically, ‘course).

Now inhale the rest of their adorbs shoot, and revel in their unstoppable silliness:

From that gorgeous young lady named Kristen:

I am a small gal, squeaking in at 5’1, madly in love with a 6’6 fella. We constantly get stares and our friends and family poke fun at our size difference. We have come to the realization that as we grow old together I will have neck problems and he will have back problems. ;)Ryan and I may be opposite in size but I couldn’t ask for a better match! We wanted to use the stool in our engagement pictures to poke fun at ourselves. We ended up using the feet picture as our save the dates.

We got a lot of help with props from our family. The blanket in our pictures was made by Ryan’s great great grandma and is on the foot of our bed. The binoculars were his great great great grandpas. And I borrowed the vintage camera from my aunt. We wanted our pictures to be “us” as much as possible. We are huge fans of the outdoors and frequently camp and hike. We chose to shoot at Casper Wilderness Center….sigh

One thing we share is a love for folk and bluegrass music. I grew up listening to bluegrass with my grandparents. 6 years ago I told Ryan (when we were just friends) that I was going to marry someone that could play the banjo….so he learned. That was settled, we must get married! We had to incorporate that into our pictures. Ryan is a great guitar player but wouldn’t ever sing for me. For our second Valentine’s Day together he took me on a hike to a waterfall. He brought out his guitar and played and SANG, “Wagon Wheel”. That is “our song” now. During our shoot our creative and amazing photographer, Valerie Wheeler, had us sit on a bench at the Balboa Pier near a banjo playing street performer.  You can imagine both of our delight when he started playing that song. It was perfect!!!

Our photographer, Valerie Wheeler, is an extremely lovely lady and has a huge heart. I was telling her about the challenged athletes my company works with and how we donate prosthetic legs and fundraise to provide running clinics to improve their mobility. She insisted that we donate $100 to the challenged athlete’s foundation.

(And then Kristen says a bunch of really sweet things about TKB that I’m embarrassed to let you see here, but arrogant enough to want the world to be cognizant of the existence of said words.)


p.s. - You may notice Ryan is wearing a MANgagement ring. He is the most adorable guy and said he wanted people to know he was engaged too and insisted we got him a ring. He will get his “real ring” (his late grandfather’s ring) on the day we get married.

p.s.s. - how did you convince your Honey to get the frenchie lub bug!? I’m trying to convince Ry we NEED one too!!! So far it’s been a 5 year process. haha

Kristen, I fear I can’t offer much help with regard to Bambino.  It was Honey who lobbied for a dog, hard, over the span of at least year or two, before I succumbed to what is now my pride and joy.  Really, it was a matter of time.  How could I resist this monster face?  How?


So, friendlies, do tell… (please note, you don’t need to have read my soliloquy on mustaches to comment, but if you do read it, be sure to read it in full, as it constitutes a personal evolution of sorts)…

1) What were your four words?  If you care to share.

2) What is your position on mustaches and weddings?  I’m referring to any and all inanimate props and crafty creations that resemble or constitute the ‘mustache’ look, not the type that come with a face.

3) Do you have any favorite props for engagement shoots and/or weddings?  Are you a fan of props in general?

xoxo!  - Alison

Photography: Valerie Wheeler, VNW Photography / Submitted by lovely reader and real bride, Kristen

Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column, {Engagement}

Love all of this...


  1. Leighann on November 10, 2011

    First – I wasn’t expecting a post so early from you so that was a pleasant surprise
    Second – I really wasn’t expecting a post featuring mine and Caitlyn’s bff’s (I was filming that entire shoot up there!!!) Even crazier surprise.

    However, the greatest surprise of the day so far was walking out of my front door to find 4 peacocks in my yard…. in Los Angeles. I think Bino of the Bam kind would have gone ape sh*t… and I would have recorded it all.

    It took me way too long to find the first word (i’m almost embarrassed, but not because the internet is my shield) Happy, dependent, charismatic and passionate. I agree with all except charismatic… that one kind of threw me through a loop, not gonna lie.

    This is getting long so i’ll get to the point – I want to stab mustaches with a dull butter knife. I love Ryan and his stache but it was a fun day when he shaved the bad boy off… the heavens sang from above and all rejoiced as it fell to the ground. the end.

  2. Leighann on November 10, 2011

    p.s. I’m dyslexic, I left my own little puzzle in there for you to figure out!

  3. Annie H on November 10, 2011

    Did I actually get first this time???
    I got honest, elegant, sentimental, and peaceful. I also saw something I thought said “ironic” turned out to just be a group of garbled letters that sort of looked like it.

    I think I am pretty much over the mustache thing too, to be honest I never really liked them all that much before. I always thought mustaches were kinda creepy?? maybe thats just me.

    My soon to be hubby and I geeked out hard core for our e photos. He’s a computer geek I’m a bookworm, and we are both huge gamer types. So there are a few picks with us with Dungeons and Dragons book (yeah judge away) polyhedral dice etc. BUT we finished the shoot in football jerseys and super soakers, so it wasn’t a TOTAL nerdfest.

    If you ask me, the one prop I would have liked to have seen at our shoot?? Lightsabers. The kind that comes with the sound effects, even if you can’t hear them through the picture!

  4. Sarah on November 10, 2011

    my four words were “genuine” “peaceful” “witty” and “lovely” :)

    i’m undecided on the ‘staches. They’re cute but very overplayed. We went sans ‘stache at our wedding!

  5. Brancoprata on November 10, 2011

    I love a good prop… however sometimes i see couples and stylists go over the top when it comes to props… is that possible?? Sometimes i feel a good shoot only needs a couple in love and the perfect location… however i can help myself … looking at this images I’m loving each one of they are funny but I have to say, I already saw them so many times… too many times…. Great post by the way!!! {!!!As always!!!}

  6. Alyssa on November 10, 2011

    Eloquent, restless, outgoing, sweet. Not bad.

    I’m trying to figure out if we should use props of some kind in our engagement shoot, and I’m totally lost. I can’t even pick a location yet so I’m probably hopeless on the prop front right now. Le sigh.

  7. Kristen on November 10, 2011

    Even we are over the mustache. haha.

    Ryan shaved shortly after the shoot. :)

    Thanks for featuring us!!!! woohoooo

  8. Elle on November 10, 2011

    Happy, Impatient, Elegant, Peaceful

    I’m going to address the Kim issue a bit. I love that you found the bright side of Ms. Kardashian and I totally support people doing what they feel in their hearts. However, I’m not sure that I can give credit to Kim Kardashian for doing “Kim”…

    I personally feel that the whole wedding was Kim doing Kim. Even her excuse that she didn’t want to disappoint people is really all about her as opposed to the other people involved. To me, she seems like a selfish brat that can’t help but satiate her every whim.

    But really to counter my own argument, who the heck knows who this woman really is. I think the line has become a little blurry with all the media surrounding her.

  9. Christine on November 10, 2011

    My four words (and this was really neat):


    Relatively accurate…not so sure about peaceful…and when I’m driving, I’m not so patient…hehe.

  10. Ashley on November 10, 2011

    OK, the first word I saw was BOGO… does that speak to how cheap I am? that BOGO is my favorite word? Then I saw patient but then realized there’s an IM in front of patient… does that mean I’m patient or impatient?? Is the point that what you see first is what you are? so a patient person sees just patient?
    Well, whatever’s correct, I saw patient first (after bogo of course) and then lovely, then reserved (yeah right) then happy… Schizophrenic, just like me!
    I think this couple is adorable. And I think your puppy is much cuter than Ryan Gosling!

  11. Kristine {In Love, Engaged} on November 10, 2011

    First of all, Kristen, can I be your friend?

    Second, my words were: genuine, elegant, peaceful, witty. Ummm… never in my life have I described myself as peaceful. But I have been told I have a calming personality. Interesting.

    Third, LOVE this e-shoot. LOVE the stool shot. Mustaches, I can take em or leave em. I agree they’re overplayed and I’d appreciate a new prop but I suppose they can still be done in a fun way {like with cotton candy, yeah!}.

  12. Laura *You Stir Me* on November 10, 2011

    I got genuine, elegant, stubborn, and naive … but I read it as naively genuine and elegantly stubborn.

    I love the prop idea…even if it involves a man’s facial hair feature:)

    And I read the part about you being you and kim being kim in the same voice and style as the narrator from Pushing Up Daisies. It was amazing.

  13. Laura *You Stir Me* on November 10, 2011

    Bah, I meant Pushing Daisies.)

  14. kaity on November 10, 2011

    loyal, dependent, peaceful and patient

  15. marisa on November 10, 2011

    genuine, elegant, courageous, charismatic. and also, i love that mcpup!

  16. Lena on November 10, 2011

    1. Naive, passionate, thoughtful, outspoken (found a whole BUNCH of other descriptors when I scrolled back up top to find those suckers).

    2. I’d like to know your thoughts on actual mustaches/facial hair+weddings. I was scrolling through photos of handsome marrying men the other day and realized, “None of these people have beards! Will John look like an overgrown ruffian with his full beard?!” and I hoped that you could walk me through my freak out. Because while I happen to think he’s super handsome, honey actually needs that beard, otherwise it would look like I was taking a 14 year old Brother Husband in my bad ass Mormon fundamental sect where women take multiple husbands for more firewood and foot rubs.

    3. Can I confess that I’m a little tired of props? If you are in the whatever it is that gives you a saber, sabers are cool with me. But I’m kind of over giant sunglasses/sunglasses generally unless you are outside/signs with witty/sentimental sayings on them. Sorry, wedding world.

    4. I am using your photos of Bambs to lobby John for one of our own. He said a black-eyed Frenchie gave him a hard stare yesterday and felt the Earth move under his feet.

  17. Kerry on November 10, 2011

    On the subject of mustaches, not sure if you guys do this in the States, but in South Africa, November is Mo-vember, all the guys grow mustaches and post photos online and compare/compete for the best facial hair all through the month, and its all for raising awareness about cancer. Mustaches for a good cause!! http://za.movember.com/

  18. Cindy on November 10, 2011

    passionate, graceful, eloquent and outgoing — not bad, but I’m probably more outgoing than any of the other descriptions, especially since it’s not often you meet someone who constantly falls while going UP stairs, not down!

    I love props — the stache — well, let me just say — WHY HAVEN’T I SEEN RYAN SINCE THE SHAVE? I’v always loved his clean face better!

    Kristen and Ryan are two of my favorite people in the world, with some of my favorite engagement pictures EVER!!! Thanks for featuring them!

  19. Kristen on November 10, 2011

    In all my excitement I forgot to answer the 4 words test.
    Naive, shy, elegant, and witty.
    hmmm strange, I would have never picked those.

    Yes Kristine, I’d love to be friends. :) See not shy! haha

  20. Steph on November 10, 2011

    lazy, happy, impatient, genuine. incredibly accurate, actually. hah :)

  21. Rosanna on November 10, 2011

    Elegant, Happy, Independent, Loyal

    So spot on.

    I must say that I really am not a fan of the mustache prop. Yes, it can be funny, but it’s overdone and, quite frankly, it’s not Elegant!!

  22. Evie on November 11, 2011

    elegant, dramatic, charismatic and passionate

    That is scarily accurate lol :)

  23. Sonia Sharma Events on November 11, 2011

    The engagement photos are adorable! Loved the smiley face activity too – just what we needed :)

  24. Helen on November 15, 2011

    Love is so powerful, I can feel it through your photos. :) Love is not hard to maintain, just needs some works to keep it fresh all the time.

  25. Colleen {Soundtrack To I Do} on November 15, 2011

    Sentimental, naive, shy, and passionate. Yep, accurate. Although I hate the word “shy”… but I just need to deal with the fact that… I sort of am.

    Super cute couple. Adorable photos.

    And excuse me, but no one commented on the MANgagement ring?? That’s the cutest thing ever. What a guy.

  26. Lacey on November 17, 2011

    First word I saw was “prey.” Weird. Also, gross?

  27. Katie on August 3, 2012

    In the order I found them:
    I am completely outspoken, and unfortunately that get’s me into trouble sometimes.

  28. Sarah on April 21, 2013

    Do you mind if I quote you on my blog if I link back to your website?


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