TODAY IN ‘ZOMG’ | Romantic Gothic Wilderness Wedding Inspiration, French Bulldogs, Writer’s Block and My Boobs. | Feat. Izzy Hudgins & French Knot Studios

Happy late Friday evening.  I = back.

“NO, momma– I wanna dress like a *whore* version of Snow White”  - being uttered by children coming of age in modern-day American society during the month of October.

Think about it.  But not for too long because ew, weird.


So uh, those sentences above? = how my Halloween post started out originally, when it was scheduled to go up before Halloween.  Silliness and inappropriateness.  NBD, right?  And then this happened:  

I have to preface the rest of this by saying that I had a version of this Halloween post written in anticipation of the storm taking out power like I hinted at above, but after the storm actually happened it just wasn’t a priority.  I figured you guys would understand.  Though still, apologies on the few days of silence from me.  

FYI: This post isn’t meant to be a lesson for anyone or a special speech on life or anything like that.  It is my personal story, that’s it.

I love to have fun on this blog, it’s what keeps me loving it year after year.  I rarely if ever struggle with writer’s block because I start out having far too much to say anyway.  Writing it down isn’t work, it’s a relief for me.  I have about 1000 topics a day that I would be open to discussing with anyone who’s listening, but I limit myself to a handful of them because it’s important to STFU sometimes.  A life rule that’s been good to me.  But so writer’s block?  Not me I thought.

After the storm absolutely nothing was funny to me anymore.  A very weird place to be, if you’re me.  How does one write when something like this happens?  I had no answer for myself, other than feeling wholly self-indulgent even for thinking a thing like that.

I’ll keep this short and sweet: knowing what’s going on all around us, we’ve been thanking our lucky latitudinal and longitudinal stars for the location of our apartment in the city.  We – Honey and I – got the least serious impact.  The devastation is far-reaching and something out of a horror movie – communities burned to the ground, communities under water, families separated from each other, people swept out into the ocean while trying to drive to higher ground, trees falling on houses, falling on people.  Some people can’t find gas because apparently oil tankers couldn’t port.  There were electrical explosions and the fatal mayhem that accompanies that.  I’m hearing the state of NJ is dealing with an issue of sewage compromising the clean drinking water.  Also apparently gas stations aren’t able to provide gas because of electricity issues and countless people are without the use of cars.

Reconciling the fact that we’re inside what is being referred to as a “disaster zone,” with the fact that we all have lives to resume – like writing a playful, upbeat wedding and lifestyle blog, for example – that’s been an interesting journey.  I’m sure a lot of you know what I mean.  There’s something that happens to you on a fundamental level when cell/landlines are down for people in your life and you can’t reach your family to see if their house fell on them while they were inside or outside and everyone’s so sleep-deprived that you can’t figure out the location of that fire you’re hearing about that’s been burning down people’s homes, and that’s not even the half of it for a lot of people.  Even people just a few miles down the road from us.  It’s surreal on a lot of levels, and you can hardly imagine getting back to work in a normal way.  In your head you’re on a tape loop: “everything I could possibly write about right now feels so trivial.  It would be disgusting of me to write something playful.  To write anything positive at all would be horribly shameful on my part.”  So the alternative is to be radio silent and to focus entirely on the fallout.  Which you do for a few days.  And then you quickly realize that is a terrible idea.  Not focusing on the blog means not focusing on the business.  The business that now employs someone.  You have to BLOG, Alison!  But wait; if you blog then the time you’ve spent blogging is time not focusing on those suffering as a result of this hurricane!  A lot of ridiculous soul searching takes place, and even the soul searching feels self-indulgent.  Every single minute of your awake time should be devoted to helping those in need, you think.  How dare you work, Alison.  How DARE you earn money!  At a time like this.

And then Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swissmiss tweets a link to a Seth Godin post titled “Getting Over Ourselves” that speaks to this.  It definitely spoke to me.  And then eventually the real *switch* comes, the thing that gives you a new perspective.  For me it was hearing this quote, I think it was Chris Christie’s words:

“Today was a day of sorrow and we need to feel that.  But as long as sorrow does not replace resilience, we’ll be fine.”

So you guys, if you’re into it, howsabout we have some good old-fashioned fun right now, pre-storm-style?  Of the cool inspiration shoot plus two whittle behbeh Frenchies hanging out and cuddling at times variety, is a good way to start I think.  Whether or not anyone’s ready for it, I’m pretty sure the key is just to get the show on the road.

Soooo.  With that said, here’s the post I wrote before Sandy, edited for tense and for the extra-special house guests we’ve had since the storm hit.

I’ve got something special for you today.  Here’s a quick question (I promise you the question is not the something special):

Of late, have you been on an endless search for wedding inspiration that is loosely connected to the uniquely disturbing tone of a holiday we traditionally celebrate around this time every year?  If you said yes, you really couldn’t have been more timely about your unquenchable thirst for eccentrically-styled couture death scenes.  HOORAY??

For those of you who are just looking forward to another wicked-awesome shoot to pour through at full bug-eyedness, please, let me share some reasons for you to get excited: succulents, dusty miller (<–whitish green velvety leaves you see in pretty much all bouquets these days, a trend I fully intend to follow), feather fascinators, feather collars, antlers OUTTA NOWHERE because YES TO ANTLERS!, ominous hollow epidermises of death seemingly enshrining captive, live heads, palms presenting bone-white animal skulls in lieu of meaningful trinkets, bubbling goblets, gilded accent pieces strategically placed upon gravestone-like structures that could very well be sitting atop ACTUAL GRAVES LIKE IN A GRAVEYARD, and a guy who did a great job of just going with the flow.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this shoot with you because, unlike a good number of inspiration shoots I see around Halloween, I feel like this one really succeeded at keeping it fascinating and chic in the most enticing manner.  It’s got a strong eeriness emanating from it and I’m looking forward to hearing your reactions to it.

However first I’d like to pass it over to Honey, who is reporting live from right next to me, working on actual real work, like for his own job.  Honey, can you provide an update on your feelings about this shoot?

“It’s great.  Reporting LIVE, this is Honey.”

Not all transitions can be winners.  But I needed a way of sharing with you that Honey’s working from home all this week (hurricane).  Sandy also brought over a friend named Ari, who in turn brought along his son, Albi.

Meet Albi:

Cute right?  Albi is older by a few months, but much tinier than Bambino.  Bambino is The Hulk version of Albi’s Bruce Banner.  And by that I mean the Edward Norton Bruce Banner.  And by that I mean Albi is the size of one of the little twig arms on a normal size twig, that has dropped from a bonsai tree.  When walking the two together, I worried about people thinking Bambino is the Kim Kardashian to my Kris Jenner, but that instead of *loving him more* than my other less marketable daughters, I *feed him exclusively*.

I probably think too much.

Here are a few more puppy shots and then I PROMISE.. the absolutely killer pictures*.  Mu ha ha ha haaaaaa.

*Note: Pictures not actually bent on mass murder.

Elizabeth (she goes by Izzy) of Izzy Hudgins Photography submitted this super intense, super committed shoot of hauntingly good inspiration, and I’m so happy to share it with you, finally.  And really awesome bonus news – she’s got an equally killer DIY she just sent along for you guys to replicate some of the really amazing styling.

From Izzy…

French Knot Studios and I put together this Edgar Allan Poe/Romantic Gothic/dash of wilderness shoot that would be prefect for a Halloween post. Our inspiration started with a luxe black feathered collar at a local boutique and a local artist, Marcus Kenney’s, taxidermy collection. Or color palette included a mix of light creamy blush tones, inky blues, and deep sanguine reds. We gathered our favorite local artists and designers to complete the shoot: spectacular dresses from Project Runway’s April Johnston, an antler framed bouquet from Madame Chrysanthemum, and antlers, artifacts, and taxidermy from Kenney. We chose a decadent chocolate display by Adam Turoni in lieu of a wedding cake to show off the rich darkness of the shoot and named each treat after a Poe story. French Knot Studios created the bride’s headpiece from deer fur, pheasant feathers, and a vintage brooch, then styled the scene. The perfect backdrop was Old Sheldon Church Ruins. Located off a country road in South Carolina, this hallowed relic is all that remains of a 1745 church and surrounding cemetery. With tombs for tables and a crumbling brick facade, it in itself is gothic romance. Enjoy!

I would love to hear your thoughts on anything.  On Izzy’s fabulous shoot would be a good start.  She did a bang up job making me like fashionable morbidity.  Not something I ever thought I’d say.

Thanks to everyone as always for being cool people, for the links to cute uplifting tumblr sites that made us smile like this one about frenchies from Kim Hecomovich, for the virtual hugs and the general appreciation for what the storm has taken from so many people who were way more unfortunate than we.

FYI, I’m cuddling your collective faces right now.  Can you feel it?  It should feel super warm, and maybe slightly molesty but only because I’m like shoving my boobs inside of your face while I embrace you in a sort of suffocation-hug.  So just try to focus on the warm part.  That’s what she said.

Besides, in order to have a shot at hug-suffocation I think I would need to have *volume* and some *perkiness* and *a cup size that is not a small B on a good day* and even *boobs, at all*, so scratch everything I just said and send me to a mental hospital because what?? am I even talking about right now?

I will be taking a nap if you need me.

xoxo  - Alison

Reminder: if you’re looking for a way to help those suffering the fallout of Hurricane Sandy, think about donating to the Red Cross.

P.S. you guys – stay tuned in the near future for a DIY or two from these hyper-talented ladies that’ll blow your faces off, collectively.  Seriously it will be very neat, your faces will literally melt off of your face.

Photographer: Izzy Hudgins Photography / Hair Stylist: Keratin Complex / Floral Designer: Madame Chrysanthemum / Invitation Designer: dot jim / Makeup Artist: Rebecca Wash / Jewelry: Gaucho / Specialty Foods: Chocolat by Adam Turoni / Other: Old Sheldon Church / Fashion Designer: Mangled Courtesan / DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: French Knot / Weddings Model: Rise Model Management

Label(s): {Holiday}, {Inspiration Shoot}

Love all of this...


  1. Kristen Nichols on November 3, 2012

    I’m so glad that you and your family have weathered the storm. Having something that makes you smile, whether it’s a funny story, a cute pair of frenchies or pretty pictures is sometimes exactly what people need to feel normal after something bad happens. xoxo

  2. wedding on November 3, 2012

    Bride hat is lovely.

  3. Izzy Hudgins on November 3, 2012

    Soooooo glad to hear that you, Honey and Bambino are unscathed by Sandy – glad to report my friends and family in NYC can say the same!

    Thank you thank you for featuring our shoot, I couldn’t have imagined it anywhere else but on The Knotty Bride – you’re my favorite!

  4. gigi on November 4, 2012

    Such a gorgeous shoot. Loved it. And those frenchies-Je les aime.

  5. Lena on November 4, 2012

    You said it perfectly. I haven’t been able to write a single thing about Sandy that feels right, so thank you. xoxox

    • Loganroosevelt on April 15, 2015

      I love this photography. Thanks for sharing this awesome post with us!!

  6. Grace on November 5, 2012

    It has been a truly interesting week-and-change for NYC. I am glad you are safe and thank you for the post, both for your insight and expression of your feelings.

    This shoot is eerie and beautiful. The colors are extremely rich and compliment the off white dresses. I wish I could wear that feather neck-piece daily!

  7. Wedding Paradise on November 6, 2012

    A great impact when looking at these photos

  8. Layla Mayville on November 6, 2012

    Freakin’ amazing! Izzy is so talented and all the vendors that worked on this shoot did an awesome job. Seriously blown away by how creative this styled shoot is! Also love the Frenchies and really glad that you are safe!!

  9. Jen @ YumYum Weddings on November 7, 2012

    Holy postgasm. I love reading your posts that are a mix of irreverent and humor, and this one delivers. A freaking skull for the bride and groom? So funny. Glad you weathered Sandy safely.

  10. London accountant on November 12, 2012

    Those Halloween bride shots are stunning. I love dark beauty – gorgeously unsettling, provocative, interesting — something different.

  11. Accountant - Jeffreys Henry on March 5, 2014

    Absolutely love the photography!!


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  1. [...] on The Knotty Bride. So glad she made it safely through all the Sandy madness!  Styling and handmade goodies by yours [...]

  2. [...] Stephanie & Rhett’s wedding on The Lovely Find, Green and Glam on Green Wedding Shoes, A Gothic Romance on the Knotty Bride  (squeeeeee!) – book 10 weddings for 2012 – I only had 7 weddings for this year, but I have 7 [...]

  3. [...] The Knotty Bride is one of my favorite wedding blogs.  It’s a consistently entertaining read of Alison’s hilarious personal tidbits, pop culture commentary and amazingly beautiful weddings.  Its always been a goal of mine to featured there.  I figured of all the blogs that I love, she would be the one to appreciate our highly editorial styled shoot.  And she did!  She featured it for Halloween and you can read it in its entirety here! [...]

  4. [...] like the Gothic Romance Poe inspired shoot we did last year, this one combines traditional wedding elements with a style that’s fashion [...]

  5. [...] like the Gothic Romance Poe inspired shoot we did last year, this one combines traditional wedding elements with a style that’s fashion [...]


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