Wedding AND Photographer Spotlight: Jose Villa Captures a Lavender Field of Dreams in Montecito + Other Lavish Lavender Wedding Ideas

Recently, I came across a breathtaking wedding out of Montecito, California, while searching out inspiration for my own.  A common scenario, yes.  But this wedding, it’s far from common.  I’d say it’s among the most dreamy, ethereal wedding events I’ve EVER had the pleasure of viewing.  But it’s no wonder, since the couple chose none other than the brilliant, and highly sought after, Jose Villa, of Jose Villa Photography.

playing in a field of lavender

The wedding of Alissa and Ryan achieved perfection in what seems to be every single way possible.  All of the photographs – which are available for viewing on Jose Villa’s site – reveal a setting that whispers of a simplicity, elegance and comfortable beauty throughout.  Below is a sampling of his work; I’ve included the images I found to be most inspiring with regard to their powerful color and fine composition.  But each and every shot taken on that day is magic, if you ask me.  Villa easily sets the standard for modern day wedding photography.

If I had to single out one setting out of the entire shoot, it would have to be the field of lavender.  It’s as though Alissa and Ryan are blissfully floating together amid soft purple waves.  These images are unbelievable, and make me want to be there with them.  I recommend seeking out a location similar to this one if you can; the shots Villa captured are priceless, complementing the rest of the suite in a divine way.

field of lavender

field of lavender

paper and centerpiece

floral | seating

field of lavender

program | setting

parisols | favors


cake |seating

flower in hand

Aren’t those photos just darling?  So peaceful and sweet.  So intimate.  A truly special moment in time for Alissa and Ryan… one that I suspect will live on in the blogosphere for many years to come.


Loving lavender and want to make it a part of your wedding celebration?  Below are some lovely ways to make it a part of your day…

LOVE sign in lavender field

lavender field

the bride in lavender

guests in lavender

lavender bridesmaid bouquet

lavender WALL! by

lavender details

custom cozies for the bridal party via

lavender wedding

lavender satchet

lavender place setting www.bride.ca_wedding-ideas

lavender and orchids via

{1, 2, 3, 4}

Love all of this...

After the Ceremony: What You Should Know About What Your Guests Are Throwing at Your Face



{via wickedlyfab}

I’m sure you’ve seen some form of it… I think by now we all have.  Maybe it happened at your friend’s wedding, or you might have seen photos of it happening online somewhere.

Pictures of some form of this are among the most unforgettable images we see across the wide spectrum of images snapped during a wedding – it adds fantasy and fun to this already emotionally magical moment, and it can be the key to one seriously amazing exit shot.

What is it?  It’s whatever your guests are going to throw at you, blow at you, wave over you, or float in your general direction as you and your new sidekick-for-life exit the site of your ceremony.  And you have some options here, so choose wisely!  One quick note of advice before we begin:  be sure to check with your venue about any restrictions they may have before you fall in love with any one choice.  Depending on the site, rice, and even bubbles, might not be among your options!  Ok, let’s begin…

Lily Fink Wedding Rice Packets

{Martha Stewart Weddings}


RICE ~ Here’s the widely disputed 411: it has been rumored for quite some time that uncooked rice is a serious health hazard to birds.  The belief is that when the rice mixes with liquids in the bird’s stomach, it expands and the bird perishes as a result.  That sounds HORRIBLE and I doubt any of you want to hurt a helpless little birdie.  Well, the current understanding is that this is nothing but a rumor, and that rice is perfectly safe for any wildlife attending your ceremony.  But don’t celebrate yet; many venues do not allow guests to throw rice, so you should check with your venue before making any decisions.

Even though it seems that the death-by-rice rumor has been debunked, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for your face.  So if this bird thing is in fact a rumor, I’d suspect it was started by a very smart engaged couple who were just trying to avoid this:

looks painful

{via uphaa}



So, let’s say you’ve ditched the rice but still really like the pellet-pitching approach?  How about supplying the post-ceremony line-up with birdseed?  It’s undoubtedly bird-friendly, and still gives you the all-important feeling of tradition that so many of us seek for our nuptials.  And if you want to take it really far, you could celebrate birds and make it a wedding theme of sorts!  Here are some absolutely darling ways to bring out the birds on your big day (I simply couldn’t choose just a few, so here’s a shot of nine ideas I loooove:

"birdify" your wedding with one of these, all from Etsy!


And a few more, just ’cause…

cottonbirddesigns on Etsy - Love Birds Ivory and Pumpkin Wedding Cake Topper


winged place cards


cookie decorations

{1, cottonbirddesigns; 2 & 3, Martha Stewart Weddings}


ROSE PETALS ~ Maybe you’ve chosen to go with rose petals.  A lovely and much softer, gentler choice, both on the environment and your decolletage.  (Who wants to pick rice from within their bosom?)  Those rank among the major pros of choosing to provide your guests with a handful of rose petals to toss over you as you make your exit.  Here’s a small con of which you may not have been aware: someone has to sweep it all up, and your venue might charge you for that service.  Not awesome.  But if you’re ok with that, I’m ok with that… because when I look at this absolutely magical photo from one of the most elegant and beautiful weddings I’ve seen out there in the ether, any cost seems justified… 

petals and confetti!{Photos by Max Wanger via 100 layer cake}

By the way, there are other wow factor ways to add the delicate beauty of rose petals to your ceremony; just check out this awe-inspiring pathway of pretty petals:

rose covered aisle

{Martha Stewart Weddings}


SPARKLERS ~ Oooohh I love sparklers.  One of those guaranteed WoW factors.  How naive I once was to have thought their only purpose was to bring in the New Year!  Ever since I first saw these bright light beauties being held high, flanking the exit path of a thrilled bride and her groom as they exited their ceremony site, they have held a special place in the wedding-planning chamber of my heart.

Pros: they are a ridiculously good time, they shimmer and shine, they guarantee an AH-MAZING photo, and they make people smile.

Cons: although I’ve never heard of an accident involving sparkler use, they do seem a tad dangerous.  I don’t know for sure, it’s just a feeling.  Anything that gets lit has to be a little bit dangerous, no?  (And that works for both lit objects and lit people.)

Yes, your wedding can look like this, too (!!!)…

wedding sparklers

{Photo via ever after planner}


{Photo via bridal inquirer}

wedding sparklers

{Photo via elizabeth anne designs}

wedding sparklers

{Photo by Holland Photo Arts via}


BUBBLES: I love bubbles!  Here’s what’s great about them: they are light, low-impact (who has ever gotten hurt by a bubble in the face?), rainbow-colored floating spheres that take us back to a time when we were kids at play.  WHAT IS BETTER THAN THAT?  Not much.

love this one :)

{via wizards4weddings}



{Photo by Sakura Photography via bridal inquirer}


{Photo by Sakura Photography via bridal inquirer}


{via elizabeth anne designs}


Love all of this...

Friday’s Fab Finds ★ Paper ‘n’ Postage Edition! Fabulous Save the Date Ideas + My Royal Postage

Cheree Berry's wedding paper

{Image by Donna Newman via The Bride’s Guide}

The future hubby and I are sending out our Save the Dates in a matter of days.  A teensy weensy bit later than I had hoped, but still within the proper limits set by those masters and mistresses of industry.  Sorry… can’t reveal the final product yet – we want it to be a surprise to our guests!

But here’s the beauty part – throughout our journey to find that perfect Save the Date card that was also within budget (a not so tough task in this day and age!), we… okay I’m just going to say “I” from now on today, because I don’t want to give any of you dear readers false hope about the level of participation you can expect from your significant others.  Sure, he has shown interest, and he certainly has opinions on the occasional detail, but really, he’s a guy at the end of the day.  He’d rather just chill with me… in silence… than debate the pros and cons of printing on linen vs. 80# card stock.  And I like it that way.  The great thing is, he helps me in exactly the way I need to be helped; when my indecisiveness becomes debilitating, he makes a choice within 30 seconds.  I envy this skill… I wonder, can it be learned?

Back to that beauty part I mentioned…

In my search for just the right Save the Date, I came across myriad colors, shapes, textures and designs, all of which made me wish we could get married a hundred times over, complete with a different invitation suite for each occasion.  Since that’s not going to happen, the next best thing is to share my finds with you guys!  Hope you like today’s Fab Finds: Paper ‘n’ Postage Edition!

First, more details from Cheree Berry’s invitation suite which I found over at The Bride’s Guide

Cheree Berry's save the date

Cheree Berry's wedding paper

The postage I am using for my save the dates (don’t you love?)…

King and Queen of Hearts USPS Postage

{Photo via weddingbee}

One thing I’m doing – and I HIGHLY suggest, if you’re looking for a way to keep costs down but adore the superior look of high quality stationery – is using a custom made address stamp on my save the dates, and quite possibly my RSVP envelopes.  These custom stamps, from Paperwink, are among my favorites…



I really love the look of printed hankies.  So delicate and special.


luckyluxe save the date hankerchiefs

{Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence via 100 layer cake}

A wax seal is a terrific way to seal your envelopes.  I’m still searching for that perfect seal, myself, and when I saw this, I felt that much more driven to make it happen for my wedding.  And, by the way, the photographer who took these shots, Max Wanger, is a fab find for today, as well!  He is golden.  Why oh why do I keep finding fab photogs in CALIFORNIA?!!  I just LOVE that sunkissed, misty look.  So dreamy and whimsical.

Hanky save the date, sealed with wax heart imprint

{Photo by Max Wanger via 100 layer cake}

Here are a couple of favorites from Paper + Cup Designs



This colorful threesome of spectacular save the dates is by Sarah Q Designs (SO talented!)…

Sarah Q Designs - The "Lovebirds" Save the Date Card -

hearts save the date

magnolia save the date

The next five you can find on Etsy!  Just hover over the images for more details…

DIYpaperie on etsy -  Print your own save the date - Vintage

nelladesigns on etsy - Custom Silhouette Print From Your Photo

FeliceDesign on etsy - Unique Custom Illustrated Retro Vintage Inspired Balloon Save the Date Postcards

drippyink on etsy - photobooth save the date magnet

LaurenLoweDesign on etsy - Eco Friendly - Bird on Cherry Blossom -Save The Date

Love all of this...

The Dream Proposal: Engaged Yet? You Might Want to Leave This Page on Your Screen When Your Man Comes Around…

You know, up until now, I thought my fiance’s proposal was pretty freaking spectacular.  I still do, of course, but, you know, there was never anything that made me wonder about the validity of that belief.  You’re probably thinking the same of yours, no?  Here’s a quick recap of mine: it was on a romantic trip to Cancun, Mexico, it involved a gazebo (I love gazebos), a beach and a cliff, and it was a total surprise.  It was great!  And, before this day, it was enough.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the way it all worked out, and baby, if you’re reading this and I know you are – your proposal was absolute perfection and I love you for it.

But I really do have to admit – seeing these over at green wedding shoes made me wonder juuust a lil bit if my proposal standards might have been a bit low.

a rare photographic moment!

Amazing.  Right?  If you haven’t yet caught on to what’s got me so excited about this…

Have you noticed that this proposal has been CAPTURED ON FILM?

This guy – his name is Daniel – planned out the entire thing, including getting his photographer involved so that the whole experience could be relived, by him, his future bride, their families AND their future wee ones.  So that’s what’s got my my underoos in a bunch.

Daniel, you are a fine, fine gentleman.  Bravo.  BRAVO.  Here are a few more photos of the adorable California couple, from their super-cute engagement shoot.  If you’d like to see the whole beautiful thing, go check out the full post over at green wedding shoes!


daniel and candyce

daniel and candyce

{Photos of Candyce & Daniel by Shannen Natasha via green wedding shoes}

Here’s another artfully captured proposal, this time coordinated by a fine man named Chris, who proposed to the lovely Whitney, on the slopes.  This incredible series of moments, which likely went by in an instant as they so often do, was nearly two months in the making.  Wow, Chris – I think we all sort of love you collectively right now.

Retrospect Studios

Retrospect Studios 2

Gotta love the victory cheer.  Don’t you adore witnessing those rarely captured on film moments when a guy is consumed with the happiness and love he has for his leading lady?

Retrospect Studios 3Retrospect Studios 4

Retrospect Studios 5Retrospect Studios  6Retrospect Studios 7Retrospect Studios 8

{Photos of Chris and Whitney by Retrospect Studios via comments on green wedding shoes}

Love all of this...

The Wedding of Lily Fink & John Harrington IV ♥ Santa Barbara, CA ♥ Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings

Lily and John dancing together - possibly the best photo ever?

There are a few weddings that truly have my heart.  These weddings accomplish what I personally consider to be among the most important details in planning one’s perfect wedding.  Here’s the short list, in no particular order:

1. They are brilliantly colored…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bridesmaid Bouquets

2. They reflect the personalities and interests of the bride and her groom…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Photo Booth

3. They foster an atmosphere of merriment and togetherness…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Reception

4. The details are as elegant and charming as they are playful and sweet…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Favors

(And they don’t get much sweeter than this!)

One of these weddings I’ve shared with you already, and that is the incredible wedding celebration of stationer extraordinaire, Cheree Berry.  Let’s think back on that red, orange, pink and blue masterpiece for a moment.  (Or click on it to refresh your memory.)

But there’s another one that, to this very day, continues to inspire me as I plan my own celebration.  It’s the wedding of Lily Fink and John Harrington IV, and it was featured in the Summer 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Feast your eyes on the inspirational goodness, below.  If you discover that you love this bride’s style as much as I do, be sure to check out Lily and John’s feature in Martha Stewart Weddings, where you’ll find each and every delightful detail.

MSW Lily Fink Wedding - bustle

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bridal Party

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Cake

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Ceremony

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bride and Mother

Lily arm in arm with her mother, Sharkey. (How great is that name, by the way?!!  Love it.)

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bouquet

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Centerpieces

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Monograms

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Cornflower Boutonnieres

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Groom's Family

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bridesmaid Gifts

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bride's Hair

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Stationery

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bride's Family

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Rice Packets

MSW Lily Fink Wedding More Favors

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Table Settings 3

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Table Settings 2

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Table Settings

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Groomsmen

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Guestbook

{All photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

Lily and John’s wedding vendors/details:

Florist: Livia Cetti for The Green Vase

Photographer: Melissa Musgrove

Gown and veil: Carolina Herrera

Suit: Marc by Marc Jacobs, from

Vintage millinery flowers: Tinsel Trading Co.

Calligraphy: Nancy Howell Calligraphy

Invitations: Grosvenor Stationery Co.

Custom “Sally Holmes” Paper Rose: Jude Miller

Bridesmaid Dresses: “Tulip” dresses in azalea with peony sash, from Simple Silhouettes

Custom bridesmaids handbags: Lauren Merkin

Photobooth rental: Photobooth Scrapbooks

Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries

Cake topper: Livia Cetti for The Green Vase

{Photo and vendor/detail list, courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009}

Love all of this...

My Wedding ☀ A Much Anticipated Update on What’s Been Sloshing Around in My Head


Okay, see now THIS  is why I want to make time for a pre-wedding glam shoot in New York City.  I encourage you to click on the photo below to behold its true size and unleash its impact… for, my friends, it is impactful.

Grand Central Station - Elyse & Brad Wedding - becreativephotography

As I write this, our wedding plans do not include a wedding day photoshoot in New York City.

Originally, they did.  But now… or at least currently… they do not.


When mine eyes have seen the glory of a photo like the above (courtesy, Be Creative Photography) then the idea of getting up at dawn for hair and makeup, spending copious (and extremely gratifying) amounts of time with our photographer to luck into a moment to rival the Grand Central Station shot above, and potentially running late for our vows doesn’t seem so completely insane.  Listen, as long as we’re both not there yet, no one’s getting stood up, right?  Right.  Just kidding, not gonna do that.

Which brings us back to square one.  (Stay tuned.  I’m still working this out in my head.  Any suggestions?)  For the time being, I will share with you a few additional shots de perfection, captured in this, the city that never catches a nap…

Emmy and Elliott, by becreativephotography

smooch in the city - Emmy and Elliott - becreativephotography

hug in nyc - Emmy and Elliott - becreativephotography

I dream that my wedding pictures will have half the beauty of those above.  That hue, the pure joy and uninhibited intimacy the couple emit – it’s catching!

{Fashion – Reception Dress}

This Nanette Lepore gold sequined stunner of a cocktail dress hath captured me.  Be still, my heart…

Gold Sequin Cocktail dress, by Nanette Lepore

{Paper – Wedding Stationery}

My wedding stationery, while I have not yet picked it out, will look very similar to the following two styles; styles I admire most, out of everything I’ve ever seen in any magazine, anywhere.  Check it:

Cheree and Jeff St. Louis, Missouri Wedding Stationery {courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings}

{Photo credit: Martha Stewart Weddings}

Lily Fink's Wedding Stationery {courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings}

{Photo credit: Martha Stewart Weddings}

And with just a splash of the kind of action you see going on in this colorful assortment:

In Style Weddings Wedding Stationery

{Decor – Tags}

As promised, here is the detail from the last post that I actually plan to use as decor for my very own wedding…

Okay, to clarify, it’s more like one detail, but in a myriad of colors and styles…  Colors and styles from which I still have to choose my favorite(s).  Hey!  Don’t knock it ’till you try it!  Planning a wedding is hard!  Seriously, it’s hard work – really hard.  (Heh, that word sooo doesn’t look like a word anymore now that I’ve typed it more than twice.  What kind of a word is hard?!  I’m laughing out loud now.)

As I was saying – choosing colors isn’t the problem; I’ll just get them in red, pink, orange and blue.  The dilemma is which tag style to choose…

Do I choose the scalloped tags?

thegildedbee - Robins Egg Scalloped Tags

thegildedbee - Orange Scalloped Tags

thegildedbee - Cherry Red Scalloped Tags

… the dotted birdy tags?

(As you can see, there are many from which to choose…)

Bird tags in all colors

… or…

Cherry Red dotted Tags

… the charming simplicity of the dotted tags???

Or do I change my mind completely and go with something entirely different?  Oh thegildedbee, you have so many lovely options, I cannot bring myself to decide.  Unfortunately, your wide selection does not benefit your bottom line when it comes to this indecisive bride.

{Paper – Address Stamps}

One idea I’ve been playing around with in my head is getting a custom made rubber stamp with our names and address to mark the backs of our invitations.  I think this is an especially fun thing to do, because I like a touch of personalization with my weddings (really, who doesn’t) and stamps are just, well they’re just fun.  I used to LOOOOVE playing with my stamps as a wee babe.  Doesn’t get much better than making a personalized bookmark for your grandma, now does it.

So, given my love for crafting and the good times I had with stamps in my formative years, I think it would be rather odd if I DIDN’T want to make a personalized address stamp for our snail mail correspondence, however rare.

Here are some of my top pics (not every image – just the more girly ones), from Paperwink.

Paperwink custom rubber address stamps 1

But wait, there’s more…

Paperwink custom rubber address stamps 2

{Food + Drink – The Cake}

While flipping through a Summer 2006 issue of In Style Weddings, I discovered one of the most fetching three tier wedding cakes I’d ever seen.  It stayed with me.  The chocolate cake, covered in a most beautiful robin’s egg blue fondant, was hand-crafted by Ron Ben-Israel, cake-maker to the stars.  Now, I just wonder if I can get it in an ice cream cake… :)

In Style Weddings, cake by Ben-Israel of NYC

… let the planning continue…

Love all of this...

Wedding Inspiration ✴ Color & Detail ✴ Should We Leave It to the Birds?

They’re staring at that horizon for a reason…

natureandart on Etsy - Love birds 14 - original oil on canvas painting

Thing is, I’m not a bird, so I’d be lying if I claimed to know why.  What I can tell you is why I would fix my eyes on that view:

To me, a sunset horizon is peaceful and soothing to the soul.  Its colors are awe-inspiring; they capture our attention and bring about a moment of calm reflection.  Perhaps most of all, a sunset is evocative of a bringing to an end… an end which sets the stage for a new beginning.  

I don’t know about you, but to me, that spells wedding!

So it’s no wonder that the painting above, entitled “Love Birds” by natureandart, captured me with its blended tones of that most beautiful time of day.  

When I saw this image, I got so excited.  You know that feeling you get when you find something that speaks to you?  (Bear with me.)  This is part of the fun of planning your own wedding.  When you discover something – maybe a new piece of artwork, or a brilliant piece of jewelry, or an especially beautiful and carefully detailed handcrafted good – and its tone, or its shape, or its meaning… fits seamlessly into the scene you are working so hard to create.  I love it when that happens.  And this painting is SO that.

I hope you like these colors and details… remember, just hover over the image if you’d like to learn more about where to get it and what it’s called.

By the way, stay tuned… later, I’m going to share with you a few new details I’ll be infusing into MY wedding.  (Hint: one of those details is below!)  You have no idea how excited I am to post them.  And I certainly hope you’ll let me know what you think.  I love getting your suggestions!  :)  


Recognize this bewitching bouquet of butterflies?  It was handcrafted by a young woman named Laura, whose incredible Brooklyn wedding was featured in none other than Martha Stewart Weddings!  And guess what?  If you love this image as much as I do, then you’ll be quite pleased to learn that Martha has launched a brand new line of invitations on Pingg, an online invitation service!  Many of my absolute favorite images from the magazine are now available as personalized invitations.  Seriously, how cool is that?!  

Butterfly bouquet featured in Martha Stewart Weddings

If you’re hosting a luncheon, or throwing a bridal shower in the near future, these invitations are pretty much made for such an occasion.  So if you need some invites, you’re in the mood to create, or you just want to fix your eyes on some fantastic photos… go check out Martha’s invites on Pingg.

But if it’s this butterfly bouquet that’s got your gaze, and you’d like to fashion one similar to Laura’s, visit the Butterfly Bouquet How-To over at Martha Stewart Weddings.  

Here’s a closer look at Laura’s masterpiece:

MSW Laura's butterfly bouquet of silk and feathers!

The perfect cherry berry red…

claireishino on Etsy -  Red and Pink Washi Leaf

LOVE these handmade butterflies.  And they are SHOCKINGLY inexpensive!

thegildedbee on Etsy - Bubble gum pink_Cherry red Vintage-style Butterfly

Searching for bouquet alternatives for your bridesmaids?  This is a top choice in my book.

thegildedbee on Etsy -  Scarlet Roses

Ahh, I just love that blue background.  The boutonniere’s nice, too.  ;)

Rationale on Etsy -  boutonniere - Trista

Okay, Camille Chung is a favorite of mine when it comes to creative instinct.  Her marriage of coral and blue in this Save the Date is pure, bold beauty.  

camillechung on Etsy - Save The Date coral and blue

WHY HAVEN’T I PIERCED MY EARS YET?  It pains me when I see something as brilliant as these red roses…

TheBumblingBird on Etsy -  Sweet Vintage Coral Roses

Uhh, yeah.  That’s a nice piece of jewelry.  Like it?  Nab it now, if it isn’t sold already.

verabel on Etsy - The Vintage Feather Bracelet one

Gold jewelry has truly made a remarkable comeback, and for that I’m grateful.  Because if it hadn’t, we might not have rings like this… 

artisanlook on Etsy - Rolling stones - 14k rose gold band inlaid lab grown opals

(Just had to show you the butterflies again.  Too cute, right?)

thegildedbee on Etsy - Bubble gum pink_Cherry red Vintage-style Butterflies


I just really like the bold red lettering here.  Not exactly about to set up a kissing booth at the wedding, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  :)


rollandtumblepress on Etsy -  Kissing Booth Handprinted Letterpress Poster


These cupcakes are adorable.  Uh-door-uh-bull.

millalove on Etsy - 12 Cupcake Toppers Millalove's Paper Flowers

I love these tags.  They’re so cute and oh-so perfect to attach to favors, or to use as escort cards.  

~thegildedbee on Etsy - Cherry Red Scalloped Tags

This ring is THE PERFECT SHADE of red. 

rachel323 on Etsy - red poppy. vintage german glass flower close

I realize there isn’t any gold to be found in the ‘Love Birds’ painting – the centerpiece of this here post.  But I’m sure that if there’s one thing that comes to mind when you imagine a sunset, it’s the golden rays of that shimmer and shine as the sun begins to set… am I right?  

So, here’s some loveliness with those golden rays in mind: 

~Seehara on Etsy - Pearls with gold filled necklace

And here’s the most precious shade of pink… still related to the painting because there are a couple of birds (HA!)…

modernartstamps on Etsy -  Birds in Love Modern Art Rubber Stamp - A51

And, finally, an accessory from a well-known favorite, the Little White Dresser.  A lovely accent, no matter how you choose to dawn it…

~LittleWhiteDresser on Etsy - English Garden sash or headband


Love all of this...

Friday’s Fab Finds, Cont’d | Anthropologie Makes Me Happy

I just couldn’t resist it… so here you go – more Black Friday deals!  I found all of these GORGEOUS accessories (plus a serving dish I couldn’t NOT post) from the always interesting and forever fresh Anthropologie.  Check ‘em out…

Silver Spotted Skipper Ring

Eden-In-Autumn Bracelet

Sculpted Grass EarringsIdyll Respite Necklace

Posy Duet Headband

Whorled Alba Necklace

fondant serving platter

Love all of this...

Friday’s Fab Finds | BLACK FRIDAY Edition ♥ Sweetest Etsy Deals Around + Dresses for Less for You and Your Girls!

Hey everybody!  So, I’m so glad I called this “Friday’s Fab Finds,” because it means I can do a Black Friday edition!  Exciting, right?  Up first: a couple of fabulous stores are having a couple of fabulous sales:

Wedding Atelier is having a Black Friday Sample Sale – Many Famous Designer gowns will be 40%-70% Off!  Prices start at $495, and you don’t even have to make an appointment!  You can call the store with questions: (646) 638-3263.  Location: 103 Fifth Ave 2nd Fl, NY, NY 10003.  For the special coupon, visit Citysearch.

One of my favorite stores for bridal and high fashion, Pronovias, is having a ONE DAY ONLY sale on select cocktail gowns at their flagship store, located at 14 E 52nd St., NY, NY (212) 897-6393.  I highly recommend checking this out; discounts are up to 75% off.  Book your appointment!

And now, for your Etsy fix… (get ready – Black Friday means SAVINGS in the world of Etsy!)

I searched far and wide for the most beautiful, amazing, adorable, elegant and delicious discounted details available.  And I just have to say one thing about it: sometimes, I like what I’ve found SO MUCH that it’s kind of extremely hard to resist buying it all for myself, too.  Still resisting the urge… so please, wish me luck.

Anyway, I hope you find these delightfully discounted details as desirable as I do!

(Note: hover over the images for their shop names and descriptions.)

GemJunkie on Etsy - 4 Vintage Inspired Pendants for Necklaces half price

GemJunkie on Etsy - 4 Vintage Inspired Pendants for Necklaces half price - back

EllaScottJewels on Etsy - Lilac Ring in Copper Filigree Black Friday - Cyber Monday Special

HeartNSole on Etsy - Yvette Rhinestone Hair Flower - BLACK FRIDAY FREE SHIPPING

HeartNSole on Etsy - Yvette Rhinestone Hair Flower - BLACK FRIDAY FREE SHIPPING updo

kgarnerdesigns on Etsy - Diamante Earrings - Swarovski Rhinestone Crystal on Sterling Silver wires

jewelryvine on Etsy - Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale - adore earrings

tomatomade on Etsy - BLACK FRIDAY SALE - connor cufflinks in vintage map custom location with gift box

MelroseFields on Etsy - Scented Silk Arrangement - White Pom Pom Flowers in Silver Vase

TheHomeCentric on Etsy - Decorative Pillow Covers Cushion Covers Curtains.png

kgarnerdesigns on Etsy - Love Song - Coin Pearl and Sterling Silver Necklace with antiqued Bird Charm

bridalbyalyson on Etsy - Small Hand Hammered Sterling Hoops with Wire Wrapped Rice Freshwater Pearls

trudiedavies on Etsy - Unique handmade Jewelry for all Occasions

luecosmetics on Etsy - Eye Shadow Choose your shade

trudiedavies on Etsy - Sterling silver bangle that can be personalized with the inscription of your choice

HoneyPotBelly on Etsy - Super Wknd Holiday Sale--Beautiful Vintage Lace Southern Belle Wedding Dress closeup

HoneyPotBelly on Etsy - Super Wknd Holiday Sale--Beautiful Vintage Lace Southern Belle Wedding Dress

kgarnerdesigns on Etsy - On the Vine Earrings - Swarovski Crystal on Pewter and Gold Fill

DancingPen on Etsy - SALE Place Cards with Hand Calligraphy

TheLoudLion on Etsy - PoshBerry Single Baby Bangle - Sterling Silver



TabbyCat13 on Etsy - Black Friday Sale Custom Wedding Cake Cookies

DolceVitaMia on Etsy - SALE Burgandy Ranunculus with golden center on an Ivory Headband

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Etsy High-Beam | Give Thanks for Holiday Sales on Charming Wedding Details

I scoured Etsy today for all the darling details I could find at a discount.  Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for everything we’ve got, and that includes pretty good deals on some really delightful little treasures!

(Note: hover over the images for their shop names and descriptions.)

1 UntamedPetals on Etsy - Bridal Crystal and Rhinestone Beaded Headband or Halo

2 UntamedPetals on Etsy - Bridal Crystal and Rhinestone Beaded Headband or Halo

3 TRUECONNECTION on Etsy - Four Personalized Hand-Painted Signs with Stakes

4 rachel323 on Etsy - sea green necklace

5 mcfarlanddesigns on Ets

6 DavieandChiyo on Etsy - Secret Garden - 8 inch - Silk lined Frame Clutch Bag - with_withouth a chain

7 hollylynne on Etsy - Ariel Earrings with Sterling Silver and Freshwater Pearls

8 passionforbeauty on Etsy - Pink Mother-of-Pearl Necklace

9 passionforbeauty on Etsy - Blue Bayou Earrings

A. shopsomethingblue on Etsy - Alissia gold tone hair comb

B. PrecociousPaper on Etsy - Rainbow of Cupcakes - Tiny Tags on a Ring

C. ilickyou on Etsy - Pet bridal veil

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Double-Duty Table Decor That’ll Charm Your Guests on Thanksgiving… and Then Once More, on Your Wedding Day.

Recently, I’ve been interested in finding great ways to personalize a Thanksgiving table.  (I know, shocking!)  While searching out my favorite styles and settings, I found quite a few looks that, at least to me, seemed quite capable of serving double-duty; perfect for the holiday table, and utterly ideal for the bride who wants a fresh, chic look for her reception.  Why this is a good idea: listen, these projects don’t make themselves.  It takes some effort, on your part, and what’s better than a little reduce-reuse when it comes to your table decorations?  The only people who’ll know – not that it matters – are the guests you’ll be inviting to both events.  So make sure you tell them not to spill the beans – both by word of mouth, AND as they pass them over your centerpieces.

Here are my favorite looks for a chic celebration… whether it’s for a truly terrific Thanksgiving, or your wow factor wedding celebration.

(Note: Hover over each image for more detail.)

1 Martha Stewart's Cornhusk Votives

2 Martha Stewart's Glimmer and Shine - spray painted miniature pumpkins and a place card written in gold ink

3 Martha Stewart's Oak-Leaf Cornucopia

4 Martha Stewart's Printed Linens

5 Martha Stewart's vivid fall leaves (clipped maple sprays, from your yard!)

6 Martha Stewart's Tabletop Collage - Display autumn leaves beneath a sheer tablecloth

7 Martha Stewart's photo place cards - copy your fave photos, then glue them to card stock

8 Martha Stewart's Glowing Hurricane Glasses

9 Martha Stewart's Cornhusk Napkin Rings & Place Cards

9a. Martha Stewart's Step by Step for Cornhusk Napkin Rings & Place Cards

A. Martha Stewart's Fall Basket Centerpiece

B. Martha Stewart's basket-weave place cards

Bb. Martha Stewart's Basket-weave place cards detail

C. Martha Stewart's Feathery place setting

D. Martha Stewart's Beaded Napkin Rings

E. Martha Stewart's Ribbon Napkin Rings

F. Martha Stewart's Sleek hurricanes filled with fallen leaves

H. Martha Stewart's No-Stitch Cross-Stitch

Hh. Martha Stewart's No-Stitch Cross-Stitch details

{Images courtesy of Martha Stewart}

If you would like to try your hand at any of the above projects, click here to go to Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Table Settings Gallery and check out her corresponding How-To instructions!


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5-Star Photos of the Day | A Peacock Palette Will Stun Them All {Images Courtesy of Denise Bovee Photography}

Are you sitting down?

Ah-mazing.  Just amazing.  Denise Bovee, you are perfection.

Purple and Gold wedding collage - Denise Bovee Photography

Purple and Gold wedding collage 2 - Denise Bovee Photography

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Sunset Inspired Wedding Details ♥ Inspiration Board & Etsy Spotlight (Twofer!)

During one of my sojourns in the land of Etsy,  I stumbled upon a bounty of colorific creations being sold by paintallnightstudios, a darling little paint shop.  The images below, painted by Robert David Bretz, are a just a handful of the many lovely works of art I found to be so inspiring that I decided to put this post on double-duty!

paintallnightstudios on Etsy - Simpler Times Favorites Collection

2 paintallnightstudios on Etsy - block of four

3apaintallnightstudios on Etsy - full IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE - by Robert David Bretz

I have a special place in my heart for anything that plays upon the splendid spectrum of the setting sun.  The above paintings – alone, a wonderful way to add color to the walls of your venue – inspire a palette of reds, oranges, yellows, blues, greens and browns.

With that in mind, I gathered up a great number of details to complement this color palette; you can find each and every one of these in the wonderful world of Etsy.

(Note: just hover over the image for the Etsy shop name and a more detailed description of the item.)

0 sibodesigns on Etsy - Bright as the Sun - Bridal Hair pins

1 ellothere on Etsy - Love Bus - Wedding Invitation

2 bovinebubbles on Etsy - jam sampler trio

3 idotakeu on Etsy - Little Ring Bearer Bird Felt Pillow

4 Cheerupcherup on Etsy - Bicycle and Bird Invitation

5 EarmarkGatherings on Etsy - 25 Amaryilis Invitations

EarmarkGatherings on Etsy - 25 Amaryilis Invitations close

6 Fairyfolk on Etsy - Acorn Ornaments

7 modernzebrafavors on Etsy - Personalized Custom Modern Polkadot Favor Bags

8 onereverie on Etsy - Swirl Into You - Wedding Invitation

9 RedLightStudio on Etsy - Custom Wedding Cake Topper - Small Hand Painted Love Birds with Nest and Painted Bouquet

A Rationale on Etsy - Boutonniere - Hazeljoy

C millalove on Etsy - Strawberry Bloom Custom Flower Cake Topper

C PipingHotPapers on Etsy - 4 Matchbox Favors - Woodland Delight

D amandaarcher on Etsy - Pleated Collar Dress

E amandaarcher on Etsy - Pleated Collar Dress

F onereverie on Etsy - Love Nest - Wedding Invitation

G YANDEBRIDAL on Etsy - Bloom Collection - Gold Silk Pillow

H WhimsicalTreasures01 on Etsy - Autumn Leaves teardrop necklace

I WhimsicalTreasures01 on Etsy - Autumn Leaves teardrop necklace gems

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Today’s Wedding Hair Award: Party in the Front!

Have you decided what you’ll be doing with your hair on your wedding day?  If you have, and today is not your wedding day, then kudos, I am impressed.  Keep reading only if you have not decided on your wedding day hair, you like pretty pictures, or you’re a stickler for finishing what you’ve started.  (Good for you; what are we without our idiosyncratic principles?)

Okay, so here’s the deal:

I have yet to decide how I’ll be wearing my hair the day of my wedding.  No, it’s not okay.  It’s a problem.

And it doesn’t help that everyone advises me differently.

For a while, I’ve been pretty certain that I’d like to wear it down, you know, the wavy look.  You’ve seen it on The Hills, and probably Baywatch (I think I’m dating myself for the first time with that reference).  It’s that beach babe look.  Here it is, on a celebrity:

Paltrow wavy hair

Anyway, some photographer friends of mine have said it’s a mistake to wear your hair down.  Okay, in some cases I can see that.  No amount of Extra Hold hairspray is going to help you on the edge of a cliff.  But in most other situations, I just don’t see the problem with letting my hair down!  Well, according to them, there’s an inevitable point during the reception, a certain tipping point of sorts, when a bride’s hair will go rogue and begin to look stringy in photos.  They did not say “may,” they said “will.”  So, apparently, to wear my hair down is to risk certain death… of my wedding photos.  Because half of those taken at my reception will be unusable due to my flyaway, homeless-looking wreck of a do.

Well, during a visit to The Wedding Chicks blog today, I caught a glimpse of a seriously great wedding photographer.  So, if you’re still out there searching for your wedding photographer, I strongly recommend checking out the swoon-worthy work of Denise Bovee.

Now back to the matter at hand.  My hair.  Hehe.  It’s IMPORTANT!

But seriously, it is.

No, seriously.

There have been only a handful of times so far in my wedding planning when I’ve seen an updo that could overtake wavy look‘s significant lead.

That takes us to some photos, taken by Bovee, of what a good hair day looks like…

Loose updo on a lovely blonde bride {image by Denise Bovee}

It's a style that looks both down and up! {image by Denise Bovee}

Loose updo coy shot, image by Denise Bovee

Aww.  Just darling. {image by Denise Bovee}

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TwitterKeys ☛ Making ♥ Hearts, ✿ Flowers, and ☂ Umbrellas, Oh My!

While following The Knotty Bride and the rest of your friends on Twitter, you may have noticed that many of us use the occasional ♥ symbol, among a number of other neat little keyboard characters that many call, “TwitterKeys.”


{Image courtesy of TwitterKeys}

Below, I’ve written a few phrases into my Twitter text box, as an example:

(Warning: when combined in a single tweet, these phrases may go to your sweetie’s head, potentially bringing out a latent God-complex.  It is recommended that you break them up into four separate tweets, with at least 72 hours between tweets.)

TwitterKeys in action!

So, if you don’t know the trick yet, you might want to find out how you, too, can show a little extra style in your tweets…

For Mac Users:

First, click in the space where you would like to insert your symbol.

Next, go to Edit, and select Special Characters from the drop-down.  A Character Palette box will appear; choose Miscellaneous from among the list of Categories, and whoop, there it is… every neat little keyboard symbol you could possibly want is somewhere within the many categories you’ll see listed.  Once you’ve discovered the perfect symbol for your needs, just click Insert, located in the lower right corner of the Character Palette box, and voilà !

For Windows/PC Users:

This involves the ALT key, and one of the numbers on your numeric keypad (which is on the right hand side of your keyboard, not along the top).  For the heart symbol, all you have to do is hold down the ALT key and the number 3 key at the same time (ALT + 3), and you’ll get a ♥!  It’s a cake walk, people.

Using a laptop?  No problem.  Just a quick initial step, then just follow the directions above.  First, you’ll need to activate the numeric keypad, by hitting the Function (fn) and Number Lock (num lock) keys.  Like I said, once the numeric keypad is activated, you’re all set to make those symbols.

Some examples:

ALT + 1 = ☺
ALT + 2 = ☻
ALT + 3 = ♥
ALT + 4 = ♦
ALT + 5 = ♣
ALT + 6 = ♠
ALT + 7 = •
ALT + 8 = ◘
ALT + 9 = ○

There are tons more.  Just play around!

I got pretty excited over these adorable little symbols when I first saw them, and couldn’t wait to find out how to do it myself.  Have lots of fun with it – there seems to be symbol for nearly everything!

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Inspiration Board: Yellow & Grey Amount to a Bright, White, Sunshiny Day!

About a year ago, as we were walking the streets of lower Manhattan on our way to lunch, future hubby drew my attention to a brand new residential high-rise on our left.  It was a very modern structure, and only two colors coated its walls, which were made entirely of brick.  The colors?  Grey and yellow.  The building was unlike any I had seen before it.  There was no symmetry in its design or palette, and so yellow was applied seemingly at random.  

William Beaver Building in lower Manhattan

He asked me what I thought of the color-pairing, which, he told me, was the newest thing in the way of architectural color schemes.  I certainly had an opinion on that, but my immediate reaction was to wonder during which football game this topic was discussed.  Really?  You know this how?  The random bits of trivia that fall out of his mouth never cease to amaze me.  

The reaction I voiced was to the color pairing.


It was a guttural response, and it was strong.  I could not stand it.  

Fast forward to just under a year later… 

LOVING grey and yellow!  It’s so odd how our tastes evolve, right?  

For example, about five years ago, this became totally appetizing to me… 

mmm mmm good ;)

Cook them up in a little chicken broth and I’m a happy camper.  So yeah, it’s weird how our tastes evolve.

“But TKB,” you might say, “not one inspiration board does true love make!”  And you’re right… it takes two.  Here’s the other one for your reference.  

Thinking about doing up your day in details of yellow and grey?  Here’s today’s inspiration board, hope it’s inspiring!  Below it, I’ve included a bunch of wedding-worthy Etsy finds that are sure to give your wedding that most wonderful wow factor. 


Bright, white, sunshiny day

Credits: Photography by Michael, Michelle Photography, Cake Stands by Raise the Cake, Frosted Pumpkin Gourmet, Inc., Brett Buchanan, Harper Ferguson, Jenne Hohn Events, Andre Niesing


First, I love this photo of a bride and groom wearing their colors (don’t you?)… 

Love is in the details; yellow shoes and grey trousers! {Photo credit: Jose Villa}

And now, the Etsy finds!

(Hover over an image to find a more detailed description, as well as where to find the item on Etsy):

libertyworkshop on Etsy - LOVE

everydaygrace on Etsy - Lovebirds, set of 10


2 AAliciaAccessories on Etsy - Small Blossom Corsage Brooch


2 Idh13 on Etsy - "Katherine Heigl" Necklace


3 RevisionDesignAus on Etsy - Bloomers Bumble Bee hair fascinator

RevisionDesignAus on Etsy - Bloomers Bumble Bee hair fascinator 2

cutthecakedesigns on Etsy - Wedding Guest Book Box and Sign

JennaBelleDesigns on Etsy - Holly Clutch

VevaSteva on Etsy - Gray and Yellow - Layered Wedding Invitation


Love this board from VevaSteva, by the way!

VevaSteva on Etsy - Gray and Yellow - Layered Wedding Invitation Inspiration


ericacavanagh on Etsy - yellow shoe clips!

DingbatPress on Etsy - Modern Aspen, Letterpress Enclosures, Place Cards


BeanSproutStudio on Etsy - Fluer Monogram Wedding Invitation Set


peppermintcloud on Etsy - Sunshine on a Grey Day Boutonniere


pspapergoods on Etsy - Daffodil Wedding Invitation Set

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Friday’s Fab Finds for November 20, 2009!

It’s Friday, everybody, and you know what that means!  It’s time for a list of my favorite wedding-related finds from the past week.  If you’re looking for a wedding wow factor, any of these delightful details and dresses could be the veritable icing on your wedding cake!  So, here we go…

First, we have some absolutely darling sequined headbands, courtesy of a super cute little Etsy shop I found, called BowerbirdInc.  I can totally see one of these wrapped around my head, or, even better, the adorably precious head of my little niece, Avery.  I’m gushing over it!  You can see more of what BowerbirdInc has to offer, here.

A sequined beaut of a band, from BowerbirdInc!

BowerbirdInc calls it the "Katie beaded and sequined multi colour bow headband"

Also from BowerbirdInc, check out this fetching white clutch!  You’ll look super stylish with this in hand:

BowerbirdInc - Lucia mini pleated clutch with silk and pearl bridal bloom top

Here, we have a stunning Marchesa dress (a leader in loveliness) from yesterday’s red carpet that’s as chic as it is short.  But it’s not too short.  It is a bit short, though.  Anyway, Olivia Wilde rocks it just right.  Not a shy one?  Then how about walking down the aisle in this:

Olivia Wilde in white Marchesa 111909

Miss Wilde’s jewelry is by David Yurman, and those killer black open-sided heels are by Brian Atwood.

Next up, we’ve got one of the most fantastic floral gowns (see more here, and here, too) I’ve seen in many seasons of bridal gown fashion.  Prepare to fall in love with this:

Jim Hjelm - "Ivory silk organza A-line gown with petal bodice and sweep train"

*See all of today’s prettiest floral gowns from bridal fashion’s top designers.

Up next, and featured on The Martha Stewart Show this morning, something that’ll cover your behind when you dive in…

Malia Mills Bridal Swimwear!

(This one says, “Just Married” – how cute, right?  You can purchase it here.)

Malia Mills Bridal Swimwear

Speaking of covering your behind…

During one of my many trips to Martha Stewart Weddings, I stumbled upon some of the sexiest and most alluring night time treasures you could ever drape upon your bod.  They’re totally perfect – and especially meant – for that wedding night… umm… wrestling you’ll be doing!  That is, of course, assuming you’ll be up to it at the end of the evening…

Why do I say that?  Well, according to a recent survey, chances are only slightly in favor of it!

Shocking, huh, ladies?  So, let’s strive to be in the majority.  What a waste of some deliciously daring get-ups if we don’t!  I can pretty much promise you that if you’re wearing any of these undergarments on your wedding night, you’ll like how you look so much that wedded passion will be sure to ensue.

Sheer "Elma" onesy, by Eres

I promise myself that I will own this elegant lace-trimmed balconette bra by La Perla.  It’s just perfect.

"Cocoon" balconette bra, by La Perla

Want to look alluring as possible, without taking it too far?  Glam up your gams with these sophisticated fishnets:

Fishnet tights, by Hue

By the way, those hot heels are the “Classic Mena” peep-toe sandal, by Valentino, and you can grab a pair of your own at Saks.

That’s it for this week’s edition of Friday’s Fab Finds!  Don’t forget to check out next week’s finds for even more ideas to make your big day totally you!

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Etsy Wedding-Worthy Spotlight: BowerbirdInc’s Sequined Headbands and My Favorite White Clutch of the Week!

About to be featured in the November 20, 2009 Friday’s Fab Finds (yeah, shh, don’t tell anybody), this shop showcases a number of lovely accessories that could be perfect for your wedding.  Check out, for example, their fabulous little sequined headbands, available in white and black styles, and just look at that precious white clutch.  Like I said, it’s the cutest white clutch I’ve seen all week.  How PERFECT for you or for your bridesmaids?!!!

Like what you see?  Go ahead, click here if you’d like to flap your wings over to BowerbirdInc’s Etsy shop to take a look at the rest of what they offer.

1 BowerbirdInc - close up of bow

3 BowerbirdInc - CLOSE UP of Sasha medium beaded bow headband in black

Do I love this?

BowerbirdInc - Lucia mini pleated clutch with silk and pearl bridal bloom


BowerbirdInc - Lucia mini pleated clutch with silk and pearl bridal bloom top

And how precious, how darling, is this:

2 BowerbirdInc - Katie beaded and sequined mutli colour bow headband

Too precious!

4 BowerbirdInc - Penny small beaded bow headband in black

As is this one:

5 BowerbirdInc - Chloe beaded headband in silver on ivory with ribbon detail

And this one:

6 BowerbirdInc - Marietta lace, sequin, and pearl floral headband


7 BowerbirdInc - Sasha medium beaded bow headband in black


8 BowerbirdInc - Tatiana large sequin and beaded headband in clear and silver

Ahhh.  Love.  Keep up the good work, BowerbirdInc!

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Fall 2010 Floral Dresses: Fresh off the Runway!

I was on a mission this morning… to find the latest and most beautiful, flowing, floral gowns hitting the runways for the Fall 2010 season.  Well, DID I FIND THEM.  Hands down, InStyle has triumphed in this category.  While perusing their gown selections, I discovered some of the loveliest looks I’ve ever seen.  Like, ever.  I hope you enjoy them, too!  (Hover over the images for a more detailed description.)

Alfred Angelo

Alfred Angelo - "Organza over satin gown with allover floral detail, satin sash and crystal beading"

Melissa Sweet

Melissa Sweet - "Strapless fit-to-flare re-embroidered lace gown embellished with a mix of petals, flowers and sequins"

James Clifford

James Clifford - "Strapless gown with floral petal detailing on skirt"

Jim Hjelm

Jim Hjelm - "Ivory silk organza A-line gown with petal bodice and sweep train"

Alvina Valenta

Alvina Valenta - "Strapless A-line gown with jeweled flowers scattered throughout bodice"

Claire Pettibone

Claire Pettibone - "Spaghetti-strap gown with Empire waist and allover silver flowers"

Anne Barge

Anne Barge - "Strapless gown with bubble hem and floral embroidery on bodice"


Rivini - "Ballgown with allover embroidery of textural floral and leaf pattern"

Reem Acra

Reem Acra - "On-the-shoulder tulle gown with floral embroidered bodice and skirt"

Elizabeth Fillmore

Elizabeth Fillmore - "Scoopneck gown with floral detail along neckline and draped skirt"

{Photos and descriptions courtesy of

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The Wedding of Stationer Cheree Berry! Colors: Red, Orange, Pink, Robin’s Egg Blue Courtesy: Martha Stewart Weddings

Cheree, Jeff et al

Cheree Berry’s my hero (of weddings).  Here’s why.

As you know, I’m a big fan of the wedding wow factor – whether it be an inspirational color scheme as unique as it is stunning, details that inspire the crafty creative inside me, or invitation suites that seamlessly tie into the wedding they are so dutifully announcing.  How do you know if a wedding has, as some would say, brought it, or, as I would say, achieved a wow factor of patentable heights?  I liken it to what inventors… or at least what Greg Kinnear who played an inventor in a movie… call the “flash of genius.”  This doctrine held that “the inventive act had to come into the mind of an inventor in a ‘flash of genius’ and not as a result of tinkering.  The new device, however useful it may be, must reveal the flash of creative genius, not merely the skill of the calling.”  Well, replace inventive act with wedding, and new device with innovative theme, colors and details, and you’ve got a (pretty underdeveloped and possibly flawed but works so far) formula for determining which weddings rise above.

Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we stumble across these standout performers and, when we do, our reactions are quite uniform: we get really excited, we sit back (or if you’re me, scrunch the shoulders and hunch over like Gollum protecting the ring and get as close to the screen as possible), and revel in the beauty.  Many try, and while countless weddings I’ve come across achieve near perfection, there are the few, the precious, precious few, that achieve a certain divine Greatness.

Cheree and Jeff

Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, the transcendent beauty of Cheree Berry‘s wedding decor, which employed a brilliant palette of reds, oranges, robin’s egg blue, and splashes of pink, is beyond inspirational… it’s perfection, pure and simple.

So Martha et al, I would like to extend my grandest appreciation for this, another miraculous gem of a wedding spread from the kings and queens of Layout Land.  While the majority of images I’ve featured below are directly from the lustrous, silken pages of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine – which unfortunately you can’t access unless you have one, or you’d like to grab coffee with me and my copy – a handful of them can be found over at Martha Stewart Weddings, the online version.  Isn’t the internet wonderful (mostly)?

1. MSW Cover

Those sunbursts – whether real or a Photoshop flourish – are so beautiful, aren’t they?  Sunset is the best time of day for a lover of brilliant colors and tones.  I get so excited about a sunset inspired wedding palette when I look at this photo of Cheree and Jeff:

MSW Cheree Berry 1

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I am very excited about her shoe choice.  Need I remind you?

MSW Cheree Berry 2

Deserving of a close up…

Cheree's red Stuart Weitzman open-toe pumps

Now, check out the brilliant reds, oranges and pinks of her bouquet, comprised entirely of ranunculus, as well as the tiny golden bee, one of her stationery motifs.  How I love the robin’s egg blue ribbon at the base of the floral arrangement.

MSW Cheree Berry 3

Her bouquet, up close:

Cheree's ranunculus bouquet

The mother of all superb invitation suites.  I tip my hat to you, Cheree.  Will you do mine?  I’d like it exactly the same as yours, except with my name and that of my future hubby.  Please?  ;)

MSW Cheree Berry 4

Cheree stated that a palette of reds, oranges, and pinks is “too perfect,” adding robin’s egg blue to splendid mix of bright, bold tones.  I love her details – the red calligraphy, the little bee she added to her reply card, Love Mail printed in the upper right corner of the envelopes – it’s art, and, at least for me, she accomplishes what she states is her goal with the suite… “to evoke a big smile.”

MSW Cheree Berry 5

Here’s a close up of that adorably delicious looking (and, I’m sure, tasting) lollipop stand:

Cheree's lollipop stand

And here’s a close-up of the dashing couple:

Cheree Berry and Jeff share a sweet treat after getting hitched!

MSW Cheree Berry 6

Her napkins:

Cheree's reception napkins

Another couple of shots of her rectangular reception tables, which have been draped in orange tablecloths, and are topped with the most stunning centerpieces, which feature floral arrangements of red, orange and pink flowers.

Cheree's reception table decor, upon rectangular tables

Cheree's reception table decor, featuring her centerpieces

That cake takes… itself?  (Cheesy?  Yes.  A pun anyone would be hardpressed to resist?  Also yes.  So it stays.)  Simplicity coupled with color is a fine combination, done quite expertly here:

MSW Cheree Berry 7

Wait, what’s that?  That huge red board that reads, “PLEASE TAKE A SEAT”…

MSW Cheree Berry 8

It’s her AMAZING seating chart!!!  Now, up close:

Cheree's Plinko style seating chart

I love everything about this – the personalization, the hard work involved, the fun, the color, EVERYTHING.  Cheree told Martha it was styled after the Plinko game on The Price is Right, which was definitely my favorite game on that show.  I have to give this a difficulty rating of *Intricate* and potentially *Frustrating* but if you’re looking to really wow your guests and you’ve got some time on your hands, check out the How To for detailed instructions.

MSW Cheree Berry 9

The favor bags:

Cheree's favor bags

What’s inside the favor bags, you ask?  Well looky here:

Cheree's favor bag contents

A breathtaking image from her ceremony (don’t you LOVE those signs?):

Cheree's LOVE signs - what an idea!  That's why we love her.

Awwwwww.  Now that’s a photo.

MSW Cheree Berry 10

Cheree and Jeff’s wedding vendors/details:

Ceremony Location: Graham Chapel at Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)

Reception Location: Lumen

Event Planning: Rebecca Boillat of St. Louis Wedding Design

Catering: Lumen

Flowers: Bloomin’ Buckets

Cake: Mathew Rice of Niche Restaurant

Stationery: Cheree Berry Paper

Calligraphy: Cheryl Tefft of Calligraphics

Music: The Ultraviolets

Wedding Photography: Susan Jackson

Gown: Carolina Herrera

Bride’s shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Siri

Groom’s Suit: Jos. A. Bank

Tie: Murano from Dillard’s

Hair: Jennifer Jones of Jones & Co. Hair Salon

Makeup: Suzy Bacino

{Photo and vendor/detail list, courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009}

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DIY Wedding Projects, Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Men often say that they read risque magazines, eh-hem, “for the articles.” Well, I love Martha Stewart Weddings, and I’ll admit it’s almost entirely for the pictures.  They are MESMERIZING.  The golds and pinks, the reds and blues, the sparkle and shine, the glitz and, of course, the glam.  I have no shame about this.  But that’s probably because there are no bare chests and questionable positions in the PG world of Martha.

Anyway, there are oodles and oodles of exceptional ideas to be found on the pages of MSW, and I highly recommend getting yourself a copy next time you pass a newsstand, but in the meantime, I just have to share with you some of the shimmering inspiration I so enjoy each time I pick up the mag…

MSW Fall 2009 Cover

This project – which features do-it-yourself golden flower pin wheels (you can purchase the party picks to which they’re attached here) atop mini vanilla cupcakes, which themselves are encased in itty bitty cupcake shells… which you can also make yourself – makes me so uncontrollably excited about what I can actually achieve for my wedding that I might pass out.

MSW Fall 2009_1 DIY

You see that precious little gathering of varied punches on the left, below?  Those punches, by Martha Stewart Crafts, are responsible for the entire DIY STYLE spread in Martha’s Fall 2009 issue.  Those adorable punches made it all.   Ah-mazing.

MSW Fall 2009_2 DIY

Weren’t planning on adding the wow factor to your wedding tea tags and place mats?  WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?  Honestly I hadn’t planned on getting quite that detailed in my efforts, either.  But now as I’m writing this sentence, I am totally falling in love with the place mats.  Those edges are darling, are they not?  They are.  Love it.

MSW Fall 2009_3 DIY

Look.  At That.  It’s a crown of paper flowers for your (well-behaved, careful with delicate things) flower girl.  OMG.  That’s some kinda wonderful.

MSW Fall 2009_4 DIY

Got votives?  Got vellum (or a craft store in your neighborhood)?  That’s all you need for these vellum-wrapped candles, which have been spruced up using Martha Stewart Crafts punches, seen in the third image from the top.

And take a closer look (you can click on the image and then zoom in to view the directions) at the bottom project, which features miniature escort cards (created with those punches you keep hearing about) tucked into slits in the branches.  Too.  Cute.  … I just hope there isn’t a draft by the seating card table.

MSW Fall 2009_5 DIY

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Wedding Gowns with Flower Power: from a Brooch on the Waste, to All Over the Place

Do your eyes light up at the sight of a bright and beautiful bouquet?  When you imagine your engagement shoot, do you see yourselves frolicking through a field of flowers?  Do you melt when your honey brings home a bunch of your favorite blooms?

Then a dress with flower power could be just perfect for you.  Not sure?  Below, I’ve included images of some of the chicest gowns out there today that feature floral accents and patterns.  These gowns are among the most elegant and beautiful styles available, are not at all overdone, and promise to be a wow factor in your wedding.

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