SEXY E-SESSION LOVE | Joyce + Joey + Boudoir | Strike a Pose with Your Honey for the World to See…

I saw this PHENOMENAL e-session on Wedding Chicks the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes.  Let me explain.

There have been a LOT more risqué photo shoots on the internets these days.  But just because they’re becoming more prevalent, it doesn’t mean I’m getting used to them.  Each time I catch a glimpse of a brand spankin’ new butt, or the side-most section of a titter-tatter, I feel like a peeping Tom.  It’s like I’m seeing something I shouldn’t be seeing…

But then I scroll down – because you can’t look away… I mean, right? – and I’m usually met with a bevy of absolutely stunning, evocative images that prove to me, almost every time, how beautiful and important these sessions truly are to the subjects involved.  Of course, there’s the obvious drive in pretty much all of us to capture forever on film the smooth, supple skin of our youth… the fleeting, all over “perkiness,” if you will.  But there’s also a deeper, less superficial purpose to these sessions, and it involves the unique bond between these couples.  It screams off the page in sessions like these.  That electric love experienced by both partners charges these images, and who doesn’t want that etched in something that lasts forever… say, film?

Well… Joyce, Joey and Ellen of Hong Studio: this is what I consider a mission accomplished:

I should note here that the shoot wasn’t wholly scandalous.  I mean, even the finest couple needs a few shots to take home to Grandma.  So, Grandma’s shots:

Precious.  Touching.  Totally innocuous.  Grandma will never catch on that they were just sexing it up, naked-style half an hour earlier.

Umm… s’cute! as my baby nephew says:

Here’s a fun fact: the breathtaking bride-to-be has her own eyelash studio in Vancouver, Canada.  Uh, wow, Joyce.  I’m impressed.  It’s called Noir Lash Lounge Inc. Sadly, I couldn’t be farther from Vancouver, and I don’t have a good enough reason to take a trip out there any time soon.  (My bank account doesn’t consider eyelashes a good enough reason, and I have to agree with it.)  Oh, and by the way, she’s not just the owner… she’s also a client!  HAHAHAHHHH yeah I’ll be here all week.

Photos: Hong Photography Studio // via Wedding Chicks

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PARTY PALETTE LOVE | apples, milk cartons and composition books | Guess the shower theme? *Duh*

Breaking the hell away from Easter for a second, here.  (I didn’t think it was possible to be on pastel overload.  But here we are.)


I discovered this totally not too cool for school baby shower over on Amy Atlas‘ blog, Sweet Designs.  The photographs are by Whitney Smith Photography.  This is so awesome, I can’t even tell you.  It was created by friends of the mother-to-be, one Mrs. Emily Moulton, and it is TOO PRECIOUS.  I’ve gotta say, I love the color scheme most of all.  And it’s the first (and last) time I’m gonna say that I am loving me some Diet Coke cans right now!

In Amy’s words:

“The shower included lots of cute details including a chalkboard menu, lunch-sack sandwiches, cafeteria lunch trays, a composition guest book, milk and cookies, and pb&j bars. Whitney and Britney even arranged for Mrs. Moulton’s students to write advice for the mom-to-be {such a cute idea!}”

Those look exactly like the Mrs. Fields cookies I used to love in high school.  Brings me back.  To eating too many Mrs. Fields cookies at lunchtime.

Just a couple more good reasons why it’s smart to stock up on cute ceramic cake stands.

Little brown paper lunch bags are my FAVORITE thing.

Ok, coming up next, a post about my childhood, complete with pictures.  And that pastel thing I worked to avoid here will return IN FULL FORCE.  I just needed to detox for a little bit.  Alright, talk to you soon!

xoxo, Alison

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{ LINGERIE + FACE LOVE } Lara Stone for Eres… + pink lips and yellow eyelids

Holy s***.

By the way, I love a matte frosted pink lip and wet yellow eye.  Just felt like telling you.

Credits: Fashionising // True North Style

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WEDDING LINGERIE LOVE | Keep it Pretty… Pretty Itty Bitty.

I love the Summer 2010/Special Issue of New York Weddings.  It’s really good.  SO good, in fact, that I’ve been in the habit of keeping it on my person wherever I go for the last couple of weeks or so.  And I must say, their site is no less entertaining and informative.

Here are some lingerie suggestions I picked up on a recent visit.  These would be quite the delightful bridal shower gift for any bride-to-be.  Though, I’m sure those of us who love this kind of stuff will be more than tempted to, uhh, take things into our own hands…


Myla Annabelle peek-a-boo bra/button-back knicker ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Kiki de Montparnasse pearl restraints ~ Kiki de Montparnasse; 79 Greene St.; 212-965-8070.

Commando Better Than Nothing thong ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.


Myla Body Silk strapless bra/suspender belt/thong ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Damaris Faroux bra/knickers ~

The Lake & Stars Trick Date silk-chiffon chemise ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Kiki de Montparnasse Muse corselette bra/tuxedo panty ~ Kiki de Montparnasse ; 79 Greene St.; 212-965-8070.



Photos: Hannah Whitaker // Source: New York Magazine

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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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LOGO INSPIRATION | sip on a little design caffeine | Creating Your Wedding Logo? Get Inspired by These…

Oh and the mustache one I threw in because it’s awesome.  Not really wedding-logo awesome, just really awesome.

( Above: “PLAY” in red hearts!  Too cute, but it might be somewhat challenging for your guests… aaaand your initials would have to include and be limited to P, L, A and Y.  So, not easy.  But if that’s you, YOU MUST! )

( Above + Below: I am really digging animals and family crests these days.  The future hubs and I have some top secret plans for infusing a certain species into our invitation suite.  Avid readers – it’s possible that you might have picked up on this already.  If so, I’m slightly impressed. )

{ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 }

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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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WILL YOU MARRY ME? | the great cake lollie proposal…

Bakerella does some amazing things with a little bit of flour, sugar and some lollie sticks.  But this project takes the cake.

It goes on, as you can imagine…

But, here’s the beauty part:

And, stop right there. That’s it – that’s where I start to tear up.


Find out what prompted all of this and more, over at Bakerella.  If you have feelings, the story will touch your heart like crazy.  I tear up a bit every time I read it.  I have never met these people, and I tear up a bit.  You want to make fun of me?  Go ahead.  I may be ridiculous, but at least I have copious amounts of feelings that cannot be contained.

Happy Thursday, to all.


P.S. – Want more stuff related to engagements/proposals?  Here’s a whole category for you.  Enjoy!

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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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STATIONERY LOVE | a wedding suite + colorful, coordinated details | Ceci New York

I count her among my favorite stationers.  She makes fabulously pretty paper, and inspires me just as much as this lovely lady.  Her name is Lisa Hoffman, and she’s the creative force behind Ceci New York

Lisa designed this luxurious wedding suite of lavender, deep purple and brilliant blue.  Her paper perfection was the featured invitation suite for a soft, sweet, and absolutely darling wedding shoot arranged by one of my favorite sources of specialness, Style Me Pretty.

http-_www.stylemepretty.com_2009_08_24_spring-wedding-inspirations-by-ceci-new-york 3

Ah.  Be still my heart.  You’ll have your day, sweet thing.

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Wedding + Holiday Paper Swoonfest | Delicious Illustrated Paper Creations By Anna Bond of Rifle Design

"Anatomy of Love" Print

While rifling through some paper goods in house and online today, I rediscovered something.  Something really special.  I’ve seen her work before; colorful, expertly drawn prints…

Monsters in the Bushes Print

… and flawless, unique stationery…

Just A Little Note... Card

… but she’s got something pretty awesome of which I just caught wind, and I cannot wait to tell you about it.

I’m talking about an A. MA. ZING. wedding stationery line from Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.  I am so frikin’ excited (SNL?  Anyone?) about her wedding stationery line, I can’t even tell you.  I can’t even.  I mean I’m nearly keeling over due to dangerous levels of being thrilled about it.

So, looking for a brilliantly illustrated and personalized save the date?  Or maybe you want an exquisitely drawn marriage certificate.  Or maybe what you really want is the whole kit and caboodle (totally recommended… I like the way you think).  Look no further.

I hope you love these, because they are deserving of someone’s love.  I’ve included my favorite wedding suites, and in addition to those beauties, I’m showing you some of her equally amazing work in the form of thank you notes, business cards, and more, all available on her site.  And all of it is perfection.

By the way, since it’s holiday time, I wouldn’t just post about wedding paper, now would I?  Scroll to the bottom for the most relevant treat of all…


~ A wedding suite by Anna Bond ~







Check this one out, New York brides…

~ Marriage Certificates by Anna Bond ~



~Save the Dates by Anna Bond ~


~Beautiful stationery and other paper goods by Anna Bond ~

Botanical Card Set

Folk Card Set

Ava Thank You Card

Frances Thank You Card

Many Thanks

Ella Thank You Card

Assorted Dog Card Set

Monogrammed Notes

Botanical Notes & Calling Cards

Illustrated Notes & Calling Cards

Garden Recipe Cards

Go on, check out the rest at her store.


Now, here’s that treat I mentioned…

Yes, she makes holiday cards, too… if you want some of your own you’ll have to hurry, many are already sold out!

Holiday Birds

And did I mention she makes wrapping sheets, as well?  I know, I want to hang out with her right now, too.

Holiday Pine Wrapping Sheets

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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

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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…

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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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Are You Ready? Introducing: Friday’s Fab Finds!

In the words of Randy Savage, oooohhh yeeeeaaaahhh. I am totally psyched for this new installment here at TKB.

So, let’s get right to it!

Engagement shoot’s can benefit from a prop now and then.  Tiffany and Will, once featured on Style Me Pretty, had a shoot that might offer a little heart-felt inspiration:

engagement gimmick - paper heart! a soccer ball, too, if you're sporty!

How perfect are those pictures?  It definitely takes an adorable outfit, and certainly a prop – or five – can help make your photos fantastic.  But you really can’t guarantee the money shot, unless it’s a talented photographer you’ve got…

Which leads me into today’s photographer find!  Tiffany and Will were photographed by Erin Heart’s Court.  Want FABULOUS photos of you and your sweetie?  You won’t go wrong here.

… I should note, it helps when both of your subjects are practically high-fashion models.  I mean, this next shot looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine!

Erin Heart's Court - Tiffany and Will engagement shoot

Erin Heart's Court - Tiffany, with Will on a bike

Not enough?  Aching for more?  Pay a visit to Erin Heart’s Court and bask in this couple’s beauty.

Moving right along, to invitations!  Bright yellows and delicate blues send my heart aflutter when I lay eyes on this invitation suite, by Delphine.

Delphine invitations, savannah save the date

Delphine invitations, savanna sugar suite

Ok, going to switch gears for a moment.  The season’s are changing and if you live anywhere near me (the northeast… shouts!), then it’s getting somewhat nippy out there.  Having a winter wedding?  Look fetching and warm up at the same time, with this:

Free People Ruffled Jacket in Ivory

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Inspiration Board: ‘My Sunset Colors,’ Featuring Stationer-Extraordinaire, Cheree Berry

Ok, LOVING this board from the Style Circle over at Style Me Pretty.  If you’re unfamiliar with the name Cheree Berry, I suggest you click on her name and take a look at what I think are some of the most beautiful, colorful and exquisite wedding invitations I’ve had the pleasure of beholding.  Wow, that was a super-size plug and a half on the house.  :)

My Sunset Colors

{Style Me Pretty Photo Credits:} Martha Stewart (2), Google Images (2), Martha Stewart Weddings (2), Flowergirls (2), Flower Girls Hawaii: Jennifer & Vincent, Millie Holloman, The Nichols – Amy & Greg, Karen Wise Photography (2), Karen Wise, Karen Wise – Catherine & Ken, Martha Stewart Weddings (2)

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Invitations That Go Beyond

Today, we’ve got some brilliant little DIY projects from the great Martha Stewart that’ll really show your creative side to each and every single one of your wedding guests.  If you’re crafty, and you’re looking for a few inspiring ways to make your invitations uniquely yours, get ready for some inspiration!

Perfect for a winter wedding, this do it yourself invitation is delicate, sweet and relatively simple to make.  All you need: your invitations (for best results, print on card stock), a Japanese hole puncher and yarn.  We adore the soft pink used below, but the great thing about this project is that you can coordinate the yarn color with your wedding scheme!

Stitched Stationery

You can accent your stitched invites with envelopes lined in a coordinating color or pattern.  (Martha achieved the cherry blossom look above with gift wrap.)

Not looking to spend too much one-on-one time creating your invitations?  Here’s the project for you.  While we wouldn’t necessarily suggest the below for a formal wedding, you can certainly go ahead with this approach for a more casual affair.  It’s pretty straightforward: decide on the content of your invitation (need help with that?  Go here), have a custom stamp made for you (there are a number of people online who sell this ware, but Martha tends to suggest this guy so we will, too), and then stamp your brains out.

Beware: because the stamp is so large, you may run into trouble achieving an even print every time.  So just be sure to check that you’ve evenly coated the entire rubber image, and, upon placing it on your card stock, softly impress each of its corners with your fingers after the initial press.

Rubber Stamps

Looking for the perfect way to marry your passion for bright colors and elaborate prints with your desire to keep it classy enough for a formal fête?  If that’s a yes, then you may want to consider this next project, which we’ve nicknamed ‘business on the front, party on the back.’  (Sooo cheesy.)  Anyway, good news: it involves making stickers!  (Who doesn’t love this?)  To make these cloth-backed cards, Martha advises you use the Xyron 500, a user-friendly sticker-maker, which you can find here.

A little more detail, courtesy of Martha:

After you’ve fed the material through the machine — thin fabrics such as cotton work best — trim the now-sticky piece with a rotary cutter, and then affix it to the back of the invite. For an added layer of texture, use paper in a coordinating color to make envelope liners.

Fabric Invites

We feel that embossing oozes sophisticated chic.  If you agree, consider an embosser made of your monogram, and go wild…


How pleasantly unique is this?  This ensures your guests will get a truly unique look at your creativity as soon as they lift the flap of your invitation.  Nothing worth doing is easy, and this one definitely involves some doing, so we encourage you to check out Martha’s How To on lining an envelope.

Envelope Liners

Are you a master DIY-er?  Here’s a challenge, and be warned, it’s ALL YOU, even down to making the envelopes!  Here’s the detailed How-To (Paper-backed wood veneer is the medium used in the image below:)

Make Your Own Envelopes

If you listen closely, you’ll hear “awww”s coming from the homes of your guests as they open these dainty paper doily envelopes. These truly look professional when done with a slow hand.  Believe it or not, they’re quite simple to make!  Just make sure you use 9-inch square doilies, you’re set.  Just fold into itself, affix with a clear adhesive, and voila!

Lacy Liners

Calligraphy is often not an option when working with a budget.  Here’s an alternative that’s easy and acceptable:

Wrap Around Labels

Here’s the template:

Wrap Around Labels template

Talk about easy; just visit any custom stamp site ( is a leader in the industry) and upload a design of your choosing…

Custom Postage Stamp

Okay, this next one we L O V E.  Isn’t it just the most stunning suite you’ve seen today?  This one’s all about the accents – the stamp accents.  Get your hands on vintage stamps from a specialty store, and give your invitations a truly elegant throwback feel.

Vintage Stamps

You can go the vintage route, or, if you’re having trouble finding what you want (you’ll obviously need quite a few stamps and it might be tough to hunt down enough if they’re vintage), then consider visiting the USPS online store. There you’ll find countless colors and prints, and who knows, you might find a perfect match for your invitations!

Themed Stamps

For more on bringing your invitations to the next level, visit Martha Stewart Weddings.  Did we mention we LOVE her?

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