No, I Love YOU Much.

Have you ever felt like you’ve found your long lost twin – a separated at birth, or maybe from-another-mother kinda deal – just upon reading a couple of posts on a blog that’s new to you?  It’s a funny feeling, a new level of awesomeness, because it’s like finding an old friend without ever having met her.

Well, when I read “I am a bad bride with too many STDs,” by Lauren of I Love You Much, I found mine.  For more reasons than what I’m bringing to the table today, but I think the inspiring eye candy that follows will be most satisfying.

By the way, if you haven’t already deduced that STDs stands for Save-the-Dates, well then you’re probably not planning a wedding at the moment.  I must say that I have struggled with that unfortunate acronym for quite some time.  I don’t care if that other thing it used to stand for is now officially known as “STI” – no matter, because it will ALWAYS denote an angry nether region to me, and I’m not really into sounding like I’m trying to put a freshly acquired infection on blast when all I’m doing is sharing some pretty wedding paper.

If these were my save-the-dates, I’d have a HECK of a time deciding on just one to send out.  So I’m not shocked that she’s been facing the same issue.

Lauren, I wish you barrels of luck making a decision.  You have your work cut out for you.  And by the way, it’s never too late for a save-the-date as beautiful as any of these.  I’d be plum delighted to receive one in the mail… even if it followed the invitation.  The prettiness you’ve created here is beyond compare.


{ Photos taken by Matt Miller }

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SPEAKING OF WEDDING INSPIRATION { + DIY LOVE }… | gold, blue and creamy beige | Choose These Colors for Your Wedding, and You Won’t Be Sorry…

I left a teaser in my first post of the day… sorry about that, but it wasn’t to mess with you!  I just couldn’t keep adding more goodness to it, when the goodness I wanted to add deserved its OWN feature!  You understand, right?  Hopefully I’ll be able to make amends with all that follows…

Here’s some of the most lovely wedding inspiration I’ve ever seen.  In my life.  And I’m in my mid-20′s.

… Plus a year or two.


We begin with a rather exquisite invitation suite…

A few ribbons of seating cards, hung from gilded branches…

A cake into which I wouldn’t want to have to be the first to cut…

A lovely altar, above which hangs the couple’s monogram…

Another cake, same story as above…

And some gold and aqua jewelry.  Not too shabby.

Lovely stuff, am I right?  I found it over at Martha Stewart Weddings, of course.  Specifically, “The Golden Touch” gallery.

And this lil stinker, also from our beloved Martha

… Was the inspiration OrangeBeautiful needed to create this incredible bridal shower for her lovely sis, Kristen…

What a neat looking game, don’t you think?  OrangeBeautiful’s bridal shower fun was inspired by this cool creation:

If you’re interested in trying your hand at a personalized version of this adorable game & pencil set, she discovered it here, at Made Sweet.


If you’d like to see some more DIY projects that are heavy on the gold (tastefully, of course)…

Here’s a post that’ll answer your prayers.  (Man, I’m real heavy on the Martha today, huh.  But really, who can blame me?  Stop producing quality wedding product, Martha.  It’s too inspiring.)

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Part II: FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | love print + wedding photography giveaway + flourish freebies + a colorful new spin on a couple of wedding trends | So, in Short, More Wedding Goodies!

OK, let’s get started…

Here we go with more of that sweet, sweet stuff I love today!  Beginning with this abso-fab print from bubbo on Etsy…

It’s pretty freakin’ nice, wouldn’t you say?  I’m including this today not just because it’s fantabulous – which it so is – but because of what happens if you buy it.  Take it bubbo…

Bubbo: “100% of sales from Valentine’s posters + prints goes to Haiti!”

That right there, folks, is what it’s all about.

And what do we have here?  Oh, just some free flourish ornaments/designs for your very own personal use, from none other than iDiY, via veils and vows.

If you’d like to get your hands on these, just click the links to the two sites I’ve listed above, or check them out via these links, below, courtesy of iDiY.

Aridi Calligraphia Flourish 2 via Fontica

Civilite Tails via FontGirl

Ornament Scrolls & Flourishes by T. Olsson via Moorstation

I’m gushing over this next one, which is – omigosh – a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GIVEAWAY!  My sister talks to her little boy like that to get him interested in activities when she isn’t confident the interest will come about naturally.  Funny, because I’m confident about this one…

Love it!  How great are wedding photography giveaways?!!  About as great as free flourishes, I’d say, yes I would.  The photographers offering this amazing package, which I discovered via Emmaline Bride, are Andy Stenz and Jamie M. Swanson.  Thank you, Andy and Jamie.  You are stupendous and on behalf of brides everywhere, I extend my deepest appreciation for doing something so wonderful.

Oh, speaking of wedding photography earlier… here’s today’s uber-cute collection, which I found here, within the my heaven on Earth, flickr.

How great is that?  The bride is seriously pulling off that stunner of a dress, and you know I’m a sucker for a good dessert table.  Oh, and by the way, it looks like that mustache trend is here to stay, brides and grooms.  Feel free to get on board!  So, while we’ve got a bunch of trends going on, that lime green, canary yellow and baby soft bluish-green is so crazy beautiful and unique, it makes the whole thing look quite fresh and new.  That color scheme is mega-inspiring!

Also found this photographic beauty there, which I’ve seen a million times in every magazine I own and have been meaning to scan, myself, for I don’t even know how long.  So glad I found it on flickr!  It’s just so intense!  Love it.

Let’s end with some wedding dessert options.  Yeah, that’s the stuff.

{Source of yummy dessert photos}

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Part I: FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | save the date freebies + smiles + scrabble | Happiness Lies Within

Alright everyone, here we go.  I’m practically hyperventilating over these finds, today.  Go get a brown paper bag in case you begin to experience some shallow breathing…

The Wedding Chicks have outdone themselves with this find right here.  They’ve brought us one of the most beautiful wedding paper templates I’ve eva seen.  Eva.  It’s beautiful, it’s got that oh-so-popular vintage look we’re all after these days… it’s EPIC… and, best of all, it’s a freebie.

Hello, Photo Save the Date Calendar Cards freebie.  So nice to meet you on this fine day.  I have been hoping you’d arrive one day.  You’re everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’d like to share you with all of my friends and family…

Not only are you beautiful… you’re customizable, too!  Seriously, you need to stop it – you’re spoiling us.  (Don’t stop – I didn’t mean it.)

I am absolutely, positively swooning over these Save the Date Templates.  THANK YOU, Wedding Chicks!!!

It was this last sample of the template in action that led me to that superfantabulous freebie (freeby?) discovery above…

The couple in that picture share a love for a certain board game…

… ditto for the FH and me.  I admit to thinking, on occasion, about how to infuse a little bit of the game we both enjoy so much into the wedding.  But everything I’ve brainstormed has been too Scrabble-y for my taste.  Enter: the engagement photo session of Julia and George, by Bend the light photography.  What did they do?  They broke out a game of Scrabble for the shoot!  So simple – I can’t believe I didn’t think of this!

Wedding Chicks

Next up, I’ve got something that really makes me happy.  Whenever I’m perusing the latest wedding photos put up by all of my favorite photographers, I search for one specific thing the most, above all.

The perfect beaming smile shot:

Can’t you just see the happiness pouring out of their mouths?


Thank you for these day brighteners, Amelia Lyon.

Today is just overflowing with finds, people.  I LOVE what’s coming next, and, well, I can say with confidence that you will, too. Check in later for Part II of the Finds…

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WEDDING COLOR INSPIRATION | pretty palettes | Sunny with a Chance of Pastels…

Want to know what’s been really tough for me to do?  Pick just ONE color palette for my wedding.  That’s one of the most difficult decisions I’ve faced while planning my affair and it’s not getting any easier the more inspiration I find.  And guess what?  It’s a challenging thing to plan a wedding when you haven’t absolutely, positively decided on your color scheme.  It’s sort of the crux of the matter.

But just LOOK at what I find out there, on a daily basis!

… Starting with some of the most darling packaging I’ve found, over at oh, hello friend

And these magical shots found on ffffound :) of that most perfect time of day, sunset…

Get a load of this shot, from Luphia Loves

Not to mention this loveliness, found on Green Wedding Shoes

I love the yellow and beige-brown combo we’ve got going on here, found on The Dieline

Then there are the soft baby pinks and blues of this fabulous Ice Cream Parlour idea, found on Twig & Thistle

And I really dig this pastel project I found via [ simplesong ]

Not to mention these brilliant images I found via decor8… the first three are by Trisha Brink Design, and the fourth is by Wilkintie

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | lovely + fun cake toppers | Wow, I Actually LIKE These…

Considering cake toppers?  Many of us go back and forth on the subject, and I’m no exception. I think I like the idea of a cake topper but, so far, I haven’t really liked my options.  For the most part, the ones I’ve seen are just so kitschy – and not even the good, hip kind of kitschy… the bad, crappy kind of kitschy that “kitsch” is actually meant to denote.

This all changed today.

Today, I drove out to Pasadena, CA, and met with my lovely and quite fabulously dressed wedding photographer for the first time in person.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m vacationing in southern CA for a family reunion of sorts and, since my photographer lives out here, we arranged to kick it for a few.  SO glad we got a chance to meet face to face at least once before go-time.  I feel much more confident about this whole crazy arrangement now.  I’m quite aware of the downsides to choosing a vendor from far, far way, but here’s the thing about me: when I get a feeling about someone/something, I go with it. 

Anywho, after spending some QT with the talented young lady and her soon-to-be sister-in-law, I headed straight to a nearby bookstore and beelined it to the wedding magazines.  (You know – because I’m planning a wedding and magazines are like pages of ice cream filled with idea sprinkles.  I’m this close to licking them right there in the store.)  So there I am, face to face with the usual suspects, but find myself looking for something different – something new, or at least something local.  

I end up passing on everything local, mostly due to the inverse ratio of ads to actual magazine content (it’s getting worse than MTV programming these days – what?  No, I don’t watch MTV programming).  About ready to leave, I decided to pick up an unknown.  At least I’d never seen a copy of it in NY.  It’s called Weddingstar, and as I flipped through this 400 page behemoth I fell instantly in love.  The ads seemed nonexistent, but in fact they’re just seamlessly rolled in.  Me likey.

In exchange for an Alexander Hamilton, the book – because it’s a book, not a magazine; nothing 400 pages long can be considered a magazine – was mine.  

Alright now… here’s one of the reasons it stood out from the rest and became today’s Fab Find:

An AH. MAZ. ING. cake toppers feature.  

Check it below, girlfriends and boyfriends.  In honor of the movie I just watched tonight – Away We Go…

Beginning with my big three; these are my top toppers.

This one somehow makes me feel happy about getting married…

And these next two represent what I’m absolutely sure are his top two dream wedding scenarios…

I know my nephew would love this one.  (My nephew’s 3 years old.)

These Love Birds are darling to the nth degree…


Man, the set design on these is brilliant, is it not?

This one is especially romantic, in my opinion…

And then there’s your grab-a-butt topper…

Watch out, it goes both ways:


So, as you’ve seen, there are some lovely options out there these days.  I have just one request.  Please, don’t go with this one.  Not a good start to the whole union thing.

Of course, to each his own.

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PICTURE PERFECT | obsessed with these ideas! | Want Your Smiling Faces on Everything? Martha’s Got You Covered

Dear Martha Stewart Weddings,

Your magazines are among the only ones I keep, for years past the date printed on the cover.  Why?  Because the ideas that line the glossy pages of each and every issue you make are the kind that will never go out of style.  And these ideas right here – which I rediscovered while flipping through the pages of an oldie-but-goodie during a recent cross-country flight – are precisely what I mean…

Picture Treats


Photo Stickers


Photo Kisses


Photo Confetti


Photo Cake


Playing Cards


Photo Bracelets and Pendants


Cufflinks and Watch


{ All images courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings }


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ETSY SPOTLIGHT | sigmosaics, part deux: pastel perfection + valentine’s day picks | How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways…

I love it when I randomly take a look at one of the many lovely shops I’ve “Favorited” on Etsy, and find – always to my surprise, for some reason – new and outstanding product ready for purchase.  Say it with me, folks – new product.  Ahh, just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it.  In a hard consonant kind of way.

Well, this was my experience when I paid a visit to my “Favorite Sellers” page recently, clicked on my old friend Sigmosaics AND SAW THESE:




(I know what you’re saying – but no, those are not the same eggs from Friday’s Fab Finds… they are, in fact, smaller mini eggs, and in summer hues.  No I’m not joking, they’re different.  Scout’s honor.)


Does breakfast in bed sound like the perfect way to spend your Valentine’s Day?  Then ask him to buy you one of these – but make sure he knows that you’d like it filled with food before he presents it to you.  Remember, men don’t read minds!  (Thank God.)




How about some heart-shaped creations?  I’d feel pretty lucky to receive one of these little works of art mid-February…







Oh, and by the way, here are two additional reasons why I have mad love (do the kids still say that?) for Kerrin, the creative force behind Sigmosaics:

1. 10% of the listing price of nearly all the items I’ve displayed above (save for the mini mosaic eggs) will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

And, as if that wasn’t enough…

2. An excerpt from her bio: 

“Sigmosaics is how I became known amongst my customers in Portugal coupled with the fact it is also the name of my website … therefore I decided to also use this name for my Etsy shop. My children provided the inspiration for the ‘Sig’ part … it’s their initials!”

I’m a sucker for rolling in your kids’ initials when naming your business.  That’s just a certain kind of special, and it’s the kind that I love.

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TYPOGRAPHY LOVE | uniquely crafted caps by jessica hische | I Bet You’re Going to LOVE Your Initials After You Read This



LOVE TYPOGRAPHY.  Now, I know I say “I love” about a lot of things – but with Typography, I mean it.


If Typography had been a character on Saved by the Bell, it would have been Zack Morris (I realize it would make more sense as Jessie Spano, but… c’mon).  And, if asked to stay on the cast as the show inevitably transitioned into Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Typography would have respectfully bowed out, because that would have been a bad career move.  A real step down for Typography.

Especially since there are so many opportunities for Typography.  It doesn’t need Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

For example, check out its starring role in the brilliant – and may I add, quite funny – Jessica Hische‘s Daily Drop Cap.  She creates the most stunning designs with the letters in our alphabet.  Here are some of my favorites (but hardly all of them; I strongly suggest visiting her site for the full experience):

And her super creative “Q,” which is quite possibly my favorite of the bunch…

How AMAZING are these letters?  Here we have one of the illustrative letter sets she displays on her site – which, again, I highly recommend you visit…

I have so much fun with pretty letters; here I spelled out two of my favorite words:


Jessica Hische, you are fabulous.


Love it and want more of it?  Check out this post for another small dose of Typography Love…

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part 2 | Still Staring | a tush God took a few more minutes to sculpt + other eye candy you secretly want to own and/or touch…

I thought I liked my butt until I saw yours, Miss.  I hope you don’t mind me staring a bit.  I don’t think you do, since you’ve made it the photographic focal point.  So I’m going to keep my eyes fixed, as well as send a little shout out to Chris Nicholls for gifting the world with your assets.

Pretty, pretty pink pastel stationery, anyone?  Martha Stewart to the rescue…


By the way, here’s a Fab Friday Tip I remembered I wanted to tell you:
When you finalize your guest list, assign each address a unique number.  Write it lightly but legibly on the back of your response cards before mailing them.  This way, if Mr. and Mrs. Friendorfoe forget to write their names on the card, or Mr. Friendorfoe’s handwriting is atrocious, you’ll still know who’s responding.  Problem solved.


Speaking of wedding correspondence, I scanned these two pages out of my Speedball Textbook to show you.  This right here is a great reference tool for writing out your guests’ addresses.  Click on the image and print it for easy reference, if you’re diy’ing it, like me.


Speaking of writing/typography… I love visiting Briar Press for their awesome Cuts & Caps, many of which are totally free.  And that – say it with me – is a wonderful thing.  This one here costs money, but it’s my favorite “A” so it gets featured.

Speaking of fonts (yeah, I’m gonna keep going with this free association), I found this meticulous masterpiece by Danish artist Peter Callesen, via paper tastebuds.

I still don’t believe that that, right there, is possible.

You must visit his site.  Seriously.  No, seriously, because I need some opinions on whether this is physically possible.  Please weigh in.

And Peter, if you see, this… HOW do you DO THIS, my friend?!?!!  Is this learned, or innate?  I think I love you and would like to be your artist-world-partner, assuming you aren’t already tied down, or anything.  (?)  Our marriage would be based on your talent, not a bond of love, since I haven’t met you.  But that seems to be enough for a lot of people, so whaddya say?

Here’s more of your work, whilst you decide.

That looks like real bones!

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DIY ~ WEDDING CALLIGRAPHY | tools you’ll need to do it yourself | Addressing Your Wedding Invitation & Save the Date Envelopes!


Scroll to the bottom of this post to turn on the musical stylings of my favorite new artist, Warpold Wine.  Mmm mmm goodness.


So, one big decision I’ve made in the process of planning my wedding is that I’m personally going to address the envelopes that will hold my save-the-dates, and then, based on that outcome, I will decide which way to go on my wedding invitations.  Why did I decide this, especially since there’s so much room for failure and frustration?  Well, there are two major reasons, and one minor reason.

Major Reason 1. My name isn’t Moneybags McTonsocash.

Major Reason 2. Way back when I was but a wee babe, I had myself a chic little calligraphy business.  I was kind of super young, but I worked hard at it, and ended up landing some serious business.  Shout out to the recipients of the MVP/Most Improved, etc. sports award certificates… hand-scribed by moi! Your names may never again be written with that much love, care and attention to detail.

Hmm, this was back in the early 90s, so that means all of you are probably in your mid 20s right about now.  Which means you may be in need of some calligraphy services in the very near future. Yes?  Go home and take a look at that certificate.  If you like what I did when I was 10 years old, then get in touch and we can discuss your vision for your wedding calligraphy.  ;)

… Anyway, so given my childhood undertakings, I couldn’t reconcile outsourcing the task.

Minor Reason 3. I heart the handmade.  I strongly believe in doing it yourself if you can do it well.  Don’t have experience with calligraphy?  No problem – do you have good handwriting?  That’s a strong start.


Note: Tunes I Use is at the bottom of this post.

You can get everything you’ll need at your local specialty art supply store.  I get my tools from DaVinci’s in NYC on the corner of 23rd and Lex., because they carry lefty nibs and it is surprisingly hard to find these.  By the way, the difficulty of finding nibs for left-handed people has always weirded me out, especially because I’ve heard and was told in my youth that left-handedness is often the mark of an artist.  No offense, right-handed artists reading this.  You outnumber we lefties, so I am probably setting myself up for a fight (if so, one rule: no hand-attacks), but I’m really just reciting what I’ve heard throughout the years.  Of course there’s always the possibility that everyone in my life has been humoring me all this time.  Hmm.  My fiance does have a scarily high success rate when it comes to fooling me.  This, I will revisit.


There are tons of inks from which to choose.  Since my save-the-date envelopes are red, I am currently experimenting with Winsor & Newton’s #974 white ink, and seeking results similar to those achieved in the following images, from Moira Events (1-3), and Papineau Calligraphy (4).

I may switch to silver ink, as I am doing a process of elimination to find the most opague white ink available on this planet and it is proving quite a challenge.  DaVinci’s tells me this one, below, is the best.  We’ll see.

The ink:


There are nibs for right-handed and left-handed people.  I’m a lefty, and for my envelopes, I will be using one of the bottom two nibs shown in this image (LC-3 & LC-4):


Four of my nibs (here, LC-3 is on the pen holder):

Pen Holder

I use a Speedball pen holder.  You shove the rounded base of your chosen nib into the pen holder.  Once joined, the two together make your calligraphy pen.  Hurrah!

For inspiration, I’ve gathered up a personal gallery of some of the most gorgeous hand-written calligraphy I’ve ever seen.  I find the four examples below to be among the most inspiring whenever I sit down to write.  They are the work of Primele Calligraphy.

I will post updates on my progress with regard to finding the highest quality and most opague inks and which style of calligraphy I end up choosing to do.

Talk soon! -Alison

Stay tuned for continued installments of DIY Wedding Calligraphy.


12.31.09 Update: You may have noticed, I’m way into a certain artist right now.  So much so that the CD jacket made a cameo appearance in this post’s feature photo.  That’s when a person is way into something, methinks.  So, allow me to suggest the following for your listening pleasure…

Artist: Warpold WineAlbum: Warpold WineIdeal for: sitting back, relaxing, doing your own wedding calligraphy, break-ups, make-ups, commuting, frolicking, wrestling with your significant other, and good deeds.  Also, New Year’s Eve festivities.  Sample it here, or check out the touring schedule.

I live for the wow factor in my weddings, and the chill factor in my music. Just let it run; there are 12 tracks, each one with its own charm and brilliance.  Standouts: tracks 4, 5, 7, 8… no I can’t do this.  I love it all, and it actually pains me to play favorites.  Currently listening to 8.  OMG, track 8.  CHILLS, people.

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