UNIQUE E-SESSION LOVE | sara + dustin | Photos: Blue Dandelion Photography

Today’s fabulous e-session is a triple threat: we’re dealing with one incredibly talented photography team, a reDONKulously rad couple, and a particularly useful lesson in keepin’ it real, e-session-style.  Ya heard?  Ok, put on your raincoats.

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You know what today’s couple has?  The right idea, that’s what.  When Doug and Courtney – the husband and wife team of Blue Dandelion Photography – sent me the e-session of Sara and Dustin, my excitement dial went from zero to eeelevuhn within seconds.  It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for balloon action.  But make ‘em all different colors and then you’re just spoiling me.  As if that wasn’t enough, what really got me going was the unique approach the couple took to their shoot.  It made me think to myself, “self, this couple knows what it’s all about…”

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As you’re about to see, this shoot is dripping with playfulness that screams of a couple comfortable in love. Ok, here it comes…

(… Uh-oh…)

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Before the big reveal, check out what Doug and Courtney had to say about the couple and the plan:

For Sara and Dustin, they approached us in spring after their friends signed on with Blue Dandelion.  They are instantly excitable (in the good sort of way), and Sara has this ability to glean laughter from the most subtle points.  When we discussed their engagement shoot, they really wanted to take it in a different direction.  She said, “Dustin and I, while totally in love, are not the overly romantic type.  We were hoping our pictures could highlight our ‘goofy’ side.”  What could be more fitting than balloons, be it filled with air – or water!  We simply had a blast doing the shoot, including dodging cars (unsuccessfully) early on, crawling around storm drains and down railroad tracks, and concluding with our waterworks.

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Ok, here’s the money shot!


WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

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I love how keeping it real for these two has very little to do with romantic poses and everything to do with having massive amounts of silly fun with one another.

Now, SERIOUSLY, how many girls do you know who are willing to get soaked during their ENGAGEMENT SHOOTS?  Some of you may be thinking, “I’d so be game for that,” but really think about it.  … Would you?  I’d like to think I’d be down, but I honestly don’t know.  And that’s why I love Sara.

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I don’t know these two personally, but I have a feeling we’d make fast friends. Any girl who doesn’t mind getting her hair a little wet while getting her picture taken is a girl I admire.

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Moral of the story: stay true to you and what you want/who you are as a couple, and everything will work out just as it should.  Also, water balloons make for AMAZING E-SESSION PICTURES.  I mean, how much do you envy these photos?  I now officially need to experience a shoot like this; I don’t think I have a single photo of myself completely soaked and I have an inexplicable longing to change that now.

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So, what do you guys think of this shoot?  Are you digging the “let’s just have a load of fun today” approach this couple chose to take?  Would you water balloon it up for your shoot?  I’m dying to hear your take on this, whatever it may be!!!

xoxo!  -Alison

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DIY WEDDING TO END ALL DIYS | Featured on: Style Me Pretty | Styling: Sitting in a Tree | Photos: Sarah Yates

I have to show you this, because it is a reason to live… if you look for reasons to live in your wedding blogs.  I hinted at its furious awesomeness in last week’s FFF, but it bears repeating and expanding.

The wedding of Junia and Andres, photographed by the amazing Sarah Yates, was featured on Style Me Pretty by Erin Lepperd of Erin Ever After, a very prolific partner in guest blogging crime over on SMP (not to mention, one of my favorite blogger broads)… and it is the end.  The end, my friend.  The end of any sadness, any inspiration drought you may be having, the end of suffering, the end of you doing any more work at your 9-5.  You’re done.  Because you’re going to stare at THIS for the remainder of your day.

Note: my Mom practically begged me to let her buy me those succulent candles on a trip to Crate & Barrel.  I didn’t let her because I didn’t have a need for them and because I’m crazy.  Aren’t they precious?

How much do you LOVE Erin for blogging that freaking phenomenal wedding?!!  A bushel?  A peck?  A hug around the neck?  I love her a barrel and an effing HEAP.  Thank you, Erin, for bringing me enough inspiration to last me through the weekend.  The wedding of Junia and Andres will be in my dreams – both the day and the night kinds.

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Credits, courtesy of SMP:

Photography: Sarah Yates / Venue: The Woods Clubhouse, Chula Vista / Event Design and Coordination: Sitting in a Tree / Invitations and all paper goods: Andres Montano / Catering: MIHO Gastrotruck / Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara / Shoes: BCBG / Veil: made from tulle cut from dress during alterations / Groom’s Suit:  J.Crew / Tie: Band of Outsiders / Groom’s Shoes: Ben Sherman

↙ Update: it’s up!!!

By the way, you totally have to check out the rad-ass Portland, Oregon wedding feature I have going up on SMP today.  No, seriously.  No.  SERIOUSLY.  When it’s up (I’ll update this post), check it out, and then GO TO THE GALLERY.  It is sick.

xoxo!!!  -Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | New Anthro, Table Numbers, Dress Love, an STD, a Cookie-Brownie, and a Lil Hot Tubbin’ Never Hurt Anybody…

Traces of Eyelet!

In A Twinkling Dress

Nueva Granada Necklace

For your bridesmaids? → Drifting By Dress

Obsessed with all of the above from my home away from home, Anthro.  I know I mention them a lot – would you like me to lay off a bit?  No?  Ok, full throttle on the Anthro it is.  …No one can say I don’t listen to my readers.

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Love and Lavender has provided me with the first good reason ever (in my personal book, which is often a unique book) to have an over-sized bridal party.  The reason is in the pictures, by the way.  The awesome, awesome pictures, taken by Jamie Clayton

I mean, how much are you loving these shots?  I’m thinking they’re totally worth putting up with a gazillion panicky phone calls from your girls about hair the day of your wedding.

*Awww!*

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Caught this unique vintagy find on a visit to Ruffled and died over the cuteness factor!  The idea, straight from Ruffled: vintage paper doll clothes as escort cards for a wedding! Am I blowing your mind?  Because it blew mine.  Creativity is the greatest thing in the world.  Truly.

{Vintage paper doll clothes on a clothesline via Kris Atomic by Aline Smithson found on Ruffled}

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This next find, dubbed A Literary Garden and brought to us by the ladies of 100 Layer Cake also had me reeling.  The table number idea, executed by Megan Gray of Honey and Poppies, is so simple – and I don’t mean easy, I mean simple – but I don’t know if I ever would have come up with it on my own.  It’s definitely one of those great ideas you wish you’d thought of yourself!  Love it, Megan.  You’re a genius, literally. *snicker snicker*

{Desserts: Erica O’Brien / Photos: Jessica Claire / Venue: The Heritage Museum of Orange County}

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Next up, some absolutely lovely wedding gowns from Neiman Marcus, which I discovered on Erin Ever After!  Apparently, most of them are below $750!!!  That’s kind of amazing… no, seriously.

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And check out this save the date, made out of a FEATHER!!!  I mean, what?!  A feather?!  I found this gem over on Brancoprata, a fantastic blog run by one of my good blogger friends – not to mention one of my favorite girls in the world – Sofia!  Totally in love with her attitude and her style.  But obsessing over this, in particular:

{Images via Once Wed / Design: Duet Weddings / Photos: Jose Villa / Cake: Erica O’brien / Flowers: Kate Holt}

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I’m thinking we end on a tasty, completely unrelated to weddings note.  Sound good?  Well, it certainly tastes good…

Yup.  That’s called a “brookie;” it’s a brownie-cookie.  Courtesy of the oven-lovin’ maven herself, Bakerella.  My question is: how do you eat just one?  How do you NOT eat the whole pan?  Seriously, I’m asking.  (People, I’m this close to licking the screen right now.  This close.  It’s settled; I’m baking these babies up over the weekend.)

Well, that about does it for Friday’s Fabs, my lovelies!  Fingers crossed that you enjoyed them as much I did!  I hope all of you are having nice little Fridays of your own.  Mine’s shaping up to be insane in the membrane.  I think I’ll need a dip in a hot tub by the time the sun goes down.  Anyone have a hot tub they’re willing to share?  Let me know.  Have suit, will travel.  Anywho, hope your weekends are filled with joy and hand holding, if you’re into that.  Try being into it, if you’re not, by the way.  You’re talking to a happy convert.

xoxo!

Alison


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REAL WEDDING ❦ lovely country nuptials {+ succulent bouquet love!} ❦ by Katie Stoops

Before we jump in to today’s fabulous real wedding, let me just quickly share with you my current FAVORITE BOUQUET STYLE IN THE WHOLE FREAKING WORLD, shot by none other than Katie Stoops:

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And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…


I’m telling you, from the sunflower bouquet to the adorable wittle puppy to the pumpkins of various sizes and hues, I have fallen hook, line and sinker for this romantic country wedding.  Katie Stoops is one of my favorite wedding photographers, and this wedding is nothing short of laid-back, family-focused perfection in my book!  Greta and David are the picture of love; their undeniable connection is almost palpable as you take in photo after photo.  I hope you love them and their big day as much as I do!

Oh I do believe
In all the things you see
What comes is better than what came before
And you’d better run run, run run to me
Better run, run run, run run to me
Better come, come come, come come to me
You’d better run

~ The Velvet Underground (but Katie features the Cat Power cover on her site… and it’s amazing.)

Heaven.  I consider this wedding a pure, unadulterated form of heaven.  Give me a wedding this intimate, this low-key, this loving and simple, and you’ve given me the world on a plate.

Thoughts?

Credit: Open Air Photography by Katie Stoops

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I ♥ THESE LOOKS | Little White Dresses & Accessories for Your E-Session

I love fashion.  Now, I’m not one of those people who’s obsessed with it – ok I’m obsessed with it.  However, somehow I happen to be one of those extremely rare types who gushes over sleek, sexy cocktail dresses, dies for that perfectly embellished belt, and all the rest… but rarely if ever actually buys anything.  I have my Dad to thank for that.  That’s called genetic code, and my Dad invented the “save your money” chromosome (or whatever; I wasn’t a biology major).  He isn’t cheap, not at all, but he DOES NOT BELIEVE IN DISCRETIONARY INCOME.  Some of you may be thinking this is a good trait; that I’m lucky.  You think I’m lucky to be a born saver?  Tell that to my wardrobe.  Tell that to my three pairs of shoes.  Tell that to my “Winner” Brand black sneakers I got in 7th grade, because my Dad didn’t “understand why you need the Nike ones?  These are just as good.”  Yeah, you know who you can tell that to?  Each and every member of my 7th grade French class.  Because they all had a lot to say about those kicks and it didn’t have anything to do with how right my dad was.

As an aside, I learned something from my brand-less K-12 existence: when I have children, I will teach them to be good people, and I will not spoil the crap out of them.  But I WILL give them name brand clothing if they ask for it.  You may consider that a bad idea, but a little less suffering in those formative years never hurt anybody.  *The more you know.*

I digress… back to fashion love.  Sometimes… there comes along an accessory.  An accessory that reduces all other accessories to cheap whores, and makes me click “buy” without hesitation.  (Ok, without much hesitation.)   This accessory would need to be the perfect combination of absolute cuteness, real necessity and bang for your buck.  Enter: the belts and dresses within this post.  OMG.

See that belt up at the tippity top of this post?  That’s Ruche‘s wrap around a rose belt in swiss coffee, and it’s only $19.99.  I KNOW.  Here’s another shot of it:

I am obsessed with that belt, and even more with the ones that follow.  Any one of these is THE PERFECT ACCESSORY to add that extra bit of awesome to your little e-shoot sundress or wedding gown or what have you.  I’m always thinking about what will result in the best possible photos, and belts knock ‘em out of the park, without fail, my friends.  Anthro dresses have never done me wrong, either.  Here we go with the rest of my picks:

These belts restore my love for frilly floweryness.  (Not that it ever really left me, but I get fed up easily with frilly floweryness.  Only so much one can take.)

ruffles and frays flower belt in smokey gray $13.99

ruffles and frays flower belt in rosey pink ~ $13.99

symmetrically pleased belt in pure ivory white ~ $19.99

And my toes are really chilly right now because these two dresses from Anthro are knocking my socks clean off my feet.  I love them soooooo much.

Sure Lock Dress ~ $128

Camilla Dress ~ $138

Do you love, or do you love?

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By the way, yesterday was my Dad’s birthday.  Which means my present to him is complaining about a specific childhood experience to the world, one that completely goes against the incredible father he is to me.  Aren’t I just the greatest daughter?!

Dad: I love you, man.  You are terrific… so terrific that it makes me tear up when I think about just how terrific.  That’s pretty terrific.  Happy birthday, Popsicle.

xoxo,

Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | Free Wedding Salon Tickets + Free Save-the-Date Printable + AMAZING Wedding Styling Inspiration and a Nutella Update…

Hope you’re having a decent Friday so far!  (I’m sure that depends entirely upon the time of day you are reading this.)  In any case, let’s get started, shall we?

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So, today’s first Fab Find comes from Christine and Vania, the fab duo of SimplyBloom.  I don’t think it’s possible for these ladies to produce anything less than perfection.  Would you agree?  I mean, just look at this image:

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Now, I am interrupting this installment of Friday’s Fab Finds to bring you a quick bit of titillating info before we move on… As many of you know, I went a little insane with a bucket of Nutella recently.  See: this post, and my Twitter feed on that day (which I will NOT link to because it is craziness).  Well, based on our brief white chocolate love affair and its aftereffects, I have a newsflash.  However, please note that this is by no means based on scientific data of any sort.  Only my personal experience.  My personal, fantastic experience.  But I say with certain confidence – both in the truth of this, and a different, new-found confidence I remember having in college – that Nutella makes your two friends to the north larger.  By two cup sizes, to be precise.  There, I said it.  I feel the need, however, to warn you not to overindulge unless you are willing to accept that this effect may be singular to me.  To my lucky freaking a$$.  Aaaaand now that I’ve bragged I’m sure they will go away soon.  Well, I’m not sure, but most good things do, so I’m basing that assumption off of experience.  Like when they took away my favorite flavor of Progresso soup.  Or the time they discontinued my favorite flavor of Wishbone salad dressing.  WHY DO THEY DO THIS ALL THE TIME?  Am I alone in this pain?  Me and my heaving bosom?

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Next up, the freebie you’ve all been hearing about… Complimentary tickets for readers of The Knotty Bride from the fabulous ladies of The Wedding Salon!!! I know!  How great is this?!  The event is Monday, May 3, 2010 at The London West Hollywood.  To grab yourself these free tickets, just click here, then click “Register for this Event” and use promo code: KBLAC – that’s it!  Woot!  The ladies of Wedding Salon put on spectacular events, and my friends and I always have loads of fun.  You do not want to miss this, TRUST.  You’re seriously in for a blast… not to mention endless wedding inspiration, which is kind of the point.

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Next up, some incredible vintage-themed inspiration featured on the lovely Love and Lavender, truly one of my faves!  (Photos by Curtis of Moore Photography; planning by Andrea of Soiree Event Planning; cakes made by High Tea Bakery and Vera Wang gown provided by Atelier Couture):

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Love this find from Ez over at Creature Comforts.  Reusable party straws; so great!!!

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This next bit of wedding inspiration KNOCKS MY FREAKING SOCKS OFF.  Thank you, Once Wed, for sharing with the world this incredible DIY Michigan Farm Wedding, photographed by Amy Carroll

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This next find made me jump a little in my chair when I first saw it.  Pretty much just like everything else the Wedding Chicks do.  I mean, right when I think they’ve given us the best free printable ever, they come out with a little something like AIRPLANE SAVE-THE-DATES.  Check it:

Want your own?  Go make it, now!  Oh, and you might be interested to know that they came out with another save-the-date printable, and it’s Mad Men inspired.  You’re welcome.

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How ’bout some sexy lingerie?  Yeah, it’s been too long since the last time I displayed a couple of near-naked bods on this here blog.  The wait is over:

Andres Sarda via The Cinderalla Project

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Got such a kick out of this, which I found on I’m kind of a professional bridesmaid…

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Last but not least, Candy Poppers from Style Me Pretty!


Alright, Happy Friday, my lovelies!  I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the finds this week, and I hope you have splendid things in the works for your weekends… like relaxing, and sitting, and lying down in the grass and stuff like that.  (Can you tell I’ve had a hectic week?)  Speaking of chillaxing, I’m listening to this song as I write these closing remarks.  It’s soothing to the nth degree.  Soooooothing.  In my opinion, at least.  And this song is fantastic, sad sad sad, but simply fantastic.

By the way, which of today’s Fab Finds is your absolute favorite?!  I’m a little bit curious. ;)

xoxo!

Alison

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