GIVEAWAY | Brides Magazine Revamp + An Exclusive First Look Inside (Hint: It’s Full of Ruffles!)

Happy Tuesday afternoon, faces!  We’ve got some goodness today, and we’re starting it off with a wee little thing called a giveaway, courtesy of our friends over at Brides Magazine.  Not to mention, a first look at one of their styling features, which you can see as of TODAY, since it’s officially available for download right now, April 17th!  The completely revamped mag hits newsstands April 24th, fyi, if you like good old fashioned hands-on reading – something I cherish in this modern world.

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WEDDING CAKE OBSESSION | You will die when you see this…

Ok, first, two things, then we’ll get back to the amazecakes:

I feel like I never get to plop down in front of the ol’ tele and veg out anymore – I try to catch a few useless time-wasters, aka, The Hills and The Bachelorette, when I can, but I feel like it’s a chore to wade through the fluff, mainly because it is all fluff.  Well, that’s a lie about The Hills.  Not the all fluff part, the chore part.  I know some of you caught a late night tweet last week that spoke to a certain last-minute rental car, a certain rushed ride home, and a certain half-hour reality show that airs Tuesdays at 10PM EST (true story).  Anyway, this week we were smart enough to tape that little fake-tanned indulgence of ours, and when I was about to turn it off, I saw the beginning of a commercial for a new MTV show (what?  No, I don’t watch MTV, pshhh).  Actually, it was after watching that crappity crap crap Downtown Girls (don’t judge me).  Anyway, the new show that totally caught my eye and piqued my curiosity is called “If You Really Knew Me,” and it premieres July 20 I believe.  And OMIGOD it is the experiment I’ve always dreamed of conducting.  Always.  DREAMED.

MTV describes it as “a documentary series that breaks down the walls of cliques in high school and brings kids together.”  I honestly don’t see how this could go wrong.  This is perfect… I mean, from the previews it’s almost unreal the kind of heart-wrenching material they actually address.  I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into something useless and dumb.  Oh wait, I seem to be a fan of that.  So it looks like I’ll watch either way.

In other news, I’m shooting guns tonight.  Yup!  No, I’m not kidding.  I’m shooting guns tonight.  Over on the West Side, ya heard?  I dare you to show up.  (Please don’t; you may die.  I have never held a gun before in my life.)  Don’t worry, I have not suddenly jumped aboard the Palin train, and I am not a card-carrying member of the NRA.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But the Fancy thought this would be fun, and I am going to admit that I was pensive for a hot second, and then psyched for all the days leading up to this afternoon’s approaching experience.  Oh how I cannot wait to share with you how it goes.  Is it weird that I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to hold a glock?  First timers are allowed to use only rifles.  Do they think they’re saving lives by limiting the firearm selection of newbies?  THIS IS A SHOOTING RANGE.  Depending on how you look at it, these places are breeding grounds for widespread, swift killing.  But, ok, I’ll take my rifle and shut my picky mouth.  (By the way, I cannot believe I’m doing this.  So scared… so, so scared…)

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Ok now.  First, check out this painting, by Wayne Thiebaud.

Now… Check. Out. This. Cake spread.

I bet they’re starin’ at those cakes; I would be…

I know, RAD.  I’ve had these beauties in a folder on my comp for like EVER.  I pretty much thought about featuring them every other day – I honestly have no idea what took me so long.  You wouldn’t believe how much eye candy I have stored away in folders… you seriously wouldn’t believe it.

Seriously.

I have so many images in folders and so many tabs open in my browsers (yup, plural) that it’s not even funny anymore.  ANYWHO, back to cakes: The set-up, which is the work of the fantastic Ana’s Creative Bakery, was inspired by the iconic Wayne Thiebaud painting.  Isn’t it magnificent?  In the famous words of bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, the bride who thought this up is “My New Favorite.”

And just because I’m feeling a little light on the eye candy today, here are a few more delightful details from that wedding:

A few words from Kate Harrison:

Lisa & Drew live life to the fullest: adventure, zest, laughter, love…you name it. They are such a delight to be around and their wedding rocked my world. A Thiebaud inspired cake table?? The best ever. (Giddy!) Outdoor adventure themes everywhere?? Amazing. I was totally in love. It was a coupling of my dreams: the adorable Lisa & Drew & my hippie/bright-little-cake-loving heart. (And check out those science cookies!)

Sorry, science cookies, coming right up:

Lisa + Drew wedding / Photography: Kate Harrison / Venue: Nestldown / Caterer (paella!): PSRT / Cake: Ana’s Creative Bakery / Flowers: La Lavande / Hair & Makeup: Mary Moorehouse

Ok, my friends… what are your thoughts on these masterpieces?

By the way – just WAIT… WAIT until you see what I’ve got in store for you in tomorrow’s Fab Finds.  Just wait.

xoxo!  -Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | June 11 | Part IV ~ obsessing over these wedding day details…

This wedding has made me fall deeply in love with the idea of having a wedding.  Don’t get me wrong; I adore weddings in general (I mean, YOU KNOW THIS).  But this wedding makes me excited for every bride who gets to design her day with awesome vendors and an awesome husband and what is clearly awesome design-mindedness.  But really, it’s the dreaminess of the pictures that did it for me.  Dreamy, ever-so-slightly-out-of-focus photos are soooooooo the number one thing in my book (aside from making sure you love the person you’re marrying, but that goes without saying… or does it?).

And by the way, her bridesmaids = ADORABLENESS.  Their shoes = ADORABLENESS to the MAX.

And now for some serious detail action:

Moko & Yovita Wedding // Photography: Axioo // via Gwyneth Paige

If you’re good, I’ll bring out another… (;

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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.

* * *

Ok, here’s the money shot!


WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

* * *

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.

* * *

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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E-SESSION LOVE | whitney + mike | Photos: SimplyBloom Photography

Ok, first things first: thank you guys SO MUCH for all the rad feedback on yesterday’s post.  I don’t know if you realize this, but when you comment and tweet (and even email me!) with your individual doses of love re: an idea I’ve shared or story I’ve told, it just makes my freaking day.  Don’t think I don’t check the comments and click my Twitter name to see who’s mentioned me, because I do.  And the great thing is that each time I do, I’m reminded yet again how lucky I am to be a part of such a positive, supportive and inspiring community of people.  If you were here right now, beside me, I’d kiss you full on the lips.  Nothing weird.  Just a passionate kiss between friends.

Ok, on to the main event…

Want a beautiful, heartwarming e-session?  Awesome, I just happen to have one right here.

Vania and Christine, the fabulous femme photography duo {Continue reading…}

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | May 28 | Shoe Love, a Macaron Wedding Suite, a Free Download, Antique Brooch & DIY Knob Bouquets, a DIY Thank You, Outdoor Table Scape & One Delicious Wedding Dress!

Hey party people!  I hope you’re all having nice little Fridays wherever you are.  Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, and I’m sure you’re psyched to get out of the office and into a boat/bar/your lover’s arms/what have you.  But before you do, you might be interested to see what I’ve gathered up this week… (:

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Starting with the most phenomenal bouquet I’ve seen this week, featured on the Wedding Chicks!  And if you love this, you’ll flip for this.  Ooh, and all of these babies.

“He who holds the key… can unlock my heart.”

And I just had to include this pic, below.  Donuts.  They aren’t donut brooches, but they are very likely delicious.  So they’re a Find.  Period.

Featured on: Wedding Chicks / Photos: Hugh Forte Photography / Coordinator: Rachel Nickens / Catering: Bad To The Bone BBQ / Rentals: Signature Party Rentals

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Next, we’ve got a seriously lovely DIY cupcake wrapper made from doilies!  Yes, I know!  I’m freaking out over this:

Via Intimate Weddings

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Next up: a freakin’ spectacular DIY from my beloved Once Wed: DIY Bridesmaid Thank You Cards!

Project created by Amy Moss of Eat Drink Chic

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Next up, a wedding trend I wholeheartedly support, as featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs.  Black heels!!!  (Especially when they have cutey patootey bows right above the toes!)

Photo: Laura Ivanova

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And now for something extremely weird

Yes, that’s a cake dress.  And yes, it’s ridiculous.  Ridiculously AWESOME.

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Next up: Simple yet stunning table design for a lovely, intimate Outdoor Luncheon, courtesy of our friends at Lovely Bride!

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Up next we’ve got the greatest DIY this week, imho:  <– Writing “in my humble opinion” like that looks disturbingly like I’m admitting I’m a ho.  Which I’m not.  (… Admitting to.)

Anyway, I’m seriously in love with this DIY knob bouquet, which was featured on 100 Layer Cake and photographed by my two of my faaavorite girls, Christine and Vania of SimplyBloom!

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I’m really lovin’ on these “Drink Me” tags I saw over on my lovely friend’s blog, Marry You Me

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She caught sight of this free drink tag download on Truly Smitten, one blog I seriously adore… like, have dreams about at night kind of adore.  For reasons such as this…

A Macaron Wedding Suite!

Alright, that does it for the Finds this week!  I hope you loved them!  Please let me know which one’s your fave, by the way.  I am DYING to know what you guys think!

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.

* * *

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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LOVELY SHORT WHITE DRESSES | Teaser Turned Pleaser!

So, you know that dress I mentioned yesterday in my after-post thoughts?  The short and sweet sassy piece about which I was so excited?  Well, here it is… along with a few of its very close friends.  What do they have in common, besides awesomeness?  I = OBSESSED WITH THEM.

Here we go… and we begin with my beloved, aka the teaser dress, aka BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Strapless Floral Appliqué Dress, available at Nordstrom

The moment I laid my eyes on its floral appliqué, I was sold.  No really, I’m not kidding.  Many of you may remember the various times I’ve alluded to – or just straight out mentioned – my natural tendency to be a saver.  Well, when I saw this textured beauty, here’s how it went down: I clicked the link, added the dress to my “shopping cart,” entered my credit card information and completed the purchase, all in a matter of seconds.  NO HESITATION.  That was once unfathomable to me.  To my friends and family, even!  I didn’t think I was even capable of such reckless spending abandon.  But… here we are.

… And I couldn’t be happier.  (Of course, I’ll be sure to update you guys on whether or not that changes when the dress actually arrives at my doorstep.  Moment of truth awaits!)  FYI: I spotted this BCBGMAXAZRIA stunner on the lovely Nancy’s So Happi Berries!

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Update: It came and I LOVE IT!!!!!!  Even the fiancé admires the texture and pattern of the material.  Which weirded me out more than it got me excited!

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Here’s a recommendation: buy these ruffled heels ↓

Wild Diva Sailor 02 Black Satin All Ruffled Up Heel

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Miss Me Footwear Diva 14 Black Satin Zip Ruffle Heel


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Ok, now for some dress action courtesy of my beloved LuLu’s!  We all know how much I adore this little online boutique and its excellent e-session-appropriate offerings.   (As evidenced here and here.)  Well, recently, I’ve been just as pleased with the lighter, more creamy-colored looks they’ve added to their delightful selection.

Two for Gelato Dress

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Sammy Dress from BB Dakota by Jack


Oh, and just for kicks, check this stache-tastic ring I found.  It’s called Doc Holiday. :)

You know you sorta want it.  In a “I totally don’t need this but damn that is the silliest ish I’ve ever seen.  I need it on my finger.”  (Conversation starter, at the very least?)

Hope you’re all having lovely starts to your weeks!  I’d love to hear your feedback on these picks; which look is your personal fave?  Thanks!

xoxo!  -Alison

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J.CREW IN THE CITY | What? I no longer have to order J.Crew gowns online, sight unseen? This is FABULOUS.

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had fantastic weekends.  We went hiking, which = awesomeness.  And afterward we stumbled upon the cutest little wedding location… more on that, later.  Now, on to more important things… like THIS:

Esmé satin platform sandals

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Have you heard?  I’m sure you’ve seen chatter about this, but do you know the unbelievable news, in full?  First this happened, and now this is happening ↘

That’s right; J.Crew is opening its very own Bridal Boutique, right in the heart of New York City.  This is kind of a big deal.  And here’s why: I love a lot of what J.Crew offers in its wedding line.  Like, overall, love it.  Love a handful of wedding gowns, looooove a lot of their bridesmaids dresses, and adoooore their bitty baby frocks (aka flower girl looks).  What do I hate?  That I CAN’T TRY ANY OF THEM ON.

I’m really looking forward to just plain loving everything about J.Crew’s bridal line, now that they’re opening a store at 769 Madison Avenue, right down the block from where I live – just kidding, I so don’t live on Madison Avenue.  But it’s a nice little ride on the train from where I’m located, and I will be taking that ride as soon as this boutique opens.  Hallelujah, J.Crew.  You finally opened a freaking bridal shop.  Jeez.  Took you long enough.  (Awww, you know I’m hard on you because I love you.)

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Now, while I enjoy their bridal gowns immensely, I have a little news for you… it’s really their bridesmaids’ gowns that rock my socks off.  In fact, I think I’d even consider wearing one of them on my wedding day.  Whoa!  Yes, I know, weird.  (Well, really only if I did the City Hall thing.)  But seriously, if you take a look at them… well, they’re just gorgeous.  So I HIIIGHLY recommend handing each of your maids a swatch and sending them on their merry way to find the perfect dress for your big day.  Ooh, and some jewelry and shoes to match.  :D

(I feel compelled to note here that it’s a real shame they don’t put their magazine images online – pretty much none of these pics do the dresses justice.  Like, at allPlease order the catalog; so much better – so much more eye candy to eat up.  Believe me.)

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Silk taffeta Clementine dress

Silk chiffon Taryn dress

Silk taffeta Lorelei dress


Cotton cady Madeleine dress

Jewelry!!!

Pearl and silk wrapped necklace – natural

More jewelry…

MORE jewelry!!!

Another shoe (!!!)…

This one’s the Nicolette strappy heel

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So, are you interested in having a consultation (aka try-on-fest!) with one of their bridal consultants?  Great news: even though they’re not set to open until early this Summer, they’re already taking appointments.  Which is interesting to me.  Anyway, want one?  Just email Kate@j.crew.com!

* * *

xoxo!  -Alison

Ooh, I almost forgot! Two things:

1) For everyone who was subjected to my teaser about a certain “PERFECT GOWN” the other day on Twitter, fear not; I will be revealing this incredible find (not J.Crew, by the way) in the near future.  Quick hint: it’s got it all.

2) I found the CUTEST LITTLE SHORT WHITE DRESS the other day.  I’m seriously going to post about it this week, I think tomorrow.  It’s sooooo cute.  Just wait ’til you see it!!!!!

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DOILIES: The Greatest Gift for the Bride on a Budget…

People, LOOK what you can do with doilies!  I mean, flimsy freaking doilies!  It’s seriously a thrill and a half sometimes, to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.  Two Brunettes teamed up with Cyd from The Sweestest Occasion and Ami of Elizabeth Anne Designs and came out of the whole thing with all the delicate loveliness you see below.

I’m really feeling everything about this table design.  But there’s a special place in my heart for those lovely wide cyan ribbons they’ve added as accents to the dessert jars...

Two Brunettes created the place cards and gift tags, and Ami was responsible for an inspiration board that brought this little shoot to life!

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WEDDING SHOE LOVE ❦ A trip to Bloomies ends in Badgley Mischka + a sex-friendly bed!

Stuart Weitzman “Marimbow” Satin Mid Heel Pumps $298.00

(Two notes: 1. yes, this post is about shoes, but I’ll mostly be talking about how we spent Sunday afternoon, because that’s what’s in the forefront of my mind. 2. mattress manufacturer names have been changed to obvious, cute versions of themselves.  Because who cares.)

* * *

The fiancé and I spent the whole afternoon in Bloomingdale’s today, and it was heavenly.  They were having a sale, and we were on a mission: to find the perfect mattress for our future.  What does “the perfect mattress” mean to us?  It means no back pain and a good, rhythmic bounce.  Yep, wherever your mind just went with that, that’s what is meant by rhythmic bounce.  And let’s just say we didn’t reject those Schmemperschmedics  because they sleep hot; it was the complete, immobilizing absorption of movement that canned them for us.  Because one thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to have to work out excessively just to be strong enough to counteract the quick-sand that is my foam mattress.

Anyway, crazy turn of events; somehow we entered the store through the shoe section.  Oops!  I didn’t side-track us for too long, but I definitely came across some numba one stunnas as I combed the rows and tables of designer shoe land (while he patiently waited).  So, as you search for that perfect shoe for your wedding day, – whether it’s for you or for your bridesmaids – consider these, my top picks for that long, graceful (and hopefully not too painful) walk down the aisle!

Badgley Mischka “Elia” Pumps $200.00

Giuseppe Zanotti High Heel Studded Gladiator Sandals $790.00

So, I’m going to continue to pepper my shoes picks throughout this post, like so…

Badgley Mischka “Randee” High Heel Ruffle Flower Sandals $215.00

… But, if you’ll indulge me, I’m going to get back to sharing this story from yesterday…

Ok, so if you Tweet with me, or if you’re one of my real-life friends to whom I bitch about how shittay our mattress is, then you already know that the boy and I have been on an odyssey for a half-way decent mattress for the last, say, entire length of our relationship.  Let me start off by saying that we made the biggest mistake possible in the art of mattress buying when we went with “a connection” we thought we had at Schmeepy’s.  This was a wrong assumption, and I still can’t believe we actually went and purchased something without first googling the company.  We were morons back then – or as a therapist would say, we behaved moronically.  (By the way, I’m shocked that the word “Googling” hasn’t reached WordPress dictionary status yet, according to my spell checker.  Wow, I am also shocked that “WordPress” isn’t in my WordPress dictionary according to my spell checker.  FAIL.)  Long story short, be sure to google a company before you purchase a horrible mattress from them.  And then have to stay home from work all day to have one of their independent contractors come to your apartment at her leisure and measure if the sagging is deep enough to warrant a replacement mattress.  Which, by the way, is totally a matter of winning the independent contractor over, which we (I) did.  But we got another shittay mattress to replace the first, so another fail.  More shoes!

Badgley Mischka “Xavier” Rosette Platform Sandals  $190.00

Moral of the story: unless you’re flat broke and there aren’t any available mattresses on the curb in or around the Lower East Side area of New York City, do not purchase a mattress from Cheapy’s.  While we’ve all heard the occasional success story with that company, the Better Business Bureau has all the answers you’d ever need to prove it’s a doomsday scenario.  More shoes!

Corso Como “Simone” Wedge Ankle Strap Sandals $155.00

Badgley Mischka “Xoa” Jeweled High Heel Sandals $200.00

A final note: we did leave having purchased a high quality mattress (yippee!!!).  Once it arrives and I feel good enough about the purchase to spread the word about it, I will update you with the deets.  But, given our previous record insofar as mattress selection, I can’t in good faith share the name before I feel confident we’ve got a winner.  Cross your fingers, please!  Last shoe!

Badgley Mischka “Ralph” High Heel T-Strap Sandals #255.00

By the way, wait until I tell you what Mr. Fiancé said about lip gloss when we were testing some at the Nars counter today.  Wait.

I just hope I don’t lose the balls to share that little gem with you.  Sleeping on it really does a number on my balls.

I don’t want the last word of my post before I sign off to be balls.  Crap.

xoxo!

Alison

P.S. – Let me know your favorite(s)!

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WEDDING + RECEPTION DRESS LOVE | plus some hair ‘dos | The Long and Short of It…

Hello, and good morning, everyone!  Hope you’re having a pleasant little Monday so far.  And to all the mommas out there, I hope you all had a splendid Momma’s Day, yesterday!  A quick shout-out goes out to my Mom and my rad sister, Jenny.  They = fantastic mamacitas who make tasty margaritas.  Well, my sister makes the margies.  But my Mom and I loooooove drinking them!  Ooohhh I could go for a Jenny margie right now.  On the rocks, extra lime.  Wait, it’s Monday morning and these are my thoughts.  Baaaad, Alison.  Baaaad.

I’m gonna move from drunkenness to dresses, without skipping a beat…

Ok, honestly, I don’t know how any of you could possibly pick just one dress at this point in the game.  There’s just too much pretty out there.

You know the effect that Coldplay’s manufactured sound has on most of us?  The way it calms things down and gives us those occasional happy shivers?  These frocks have the same effect on me…

Center Stage Dress in Champagne

This is quite obviously today’s reception dress pick.  LOVE.

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Now, for some wedding dress wow factor love.  FORM OF: Monique Lhullier !

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

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By the way, I have a couple of hairstyle comments/suggestions to make.

This:

… is how my dear mother styled my hair when I was a wee babe.  She worked it up into a clean bun, shimmied me into my dress, and called me Pebbles.  So, while I have some of the cutest baby photos you’ve ever seen, I can’t imagine wearing my hair in a similar style on my wedding day.  Of course, I’m biased – I don’t want friends and family I’ve known since birth reminiscing about my baby hair ‘dos while I’m to-having and t0-holding.  ‘Cause that would be what happened if I wore my hair like this.  Which I won’t.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

On the other hand, this:

… is AWESOME.  (By the way, I found both of these over at Elle.)  It’s really quite perfect for a laid-back, backyard affair… if you love ponytails but don’t want to look like you dialed it in on your wedding day.  Personally, I love ponytails (my go-to ‘do), and am always on the search for ways to change it up.  So, naturally, I love this.  Of course, it may err a little on the side of being too casual, so here, check out my top five tips for great wedding day hair if you’re looking for some fabulous ‘dos for your lovely lady locks.  ;)

xoxo!

Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | chock full of treats | Couture Gown Love, DIY Table Numbers, Chocolate and Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Happy Friday, everybody!  I’m so excited about the Finds today, you have NO IDEA.  I’m gonna start with the most beautiful gown I’ve seen all week, bar none…

It’s called Bianca, by Alisa Benay; go check out Perfect Bound where I discovered this stunner, or pay a visit to Alisa’s website to see her line!

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Next up, the most enchanting DIY project I’ve seen in weeks… embroidered table numbers by Maddy of Inspired Bride!  It’s so simple, so lovely.  I’m utterly impressed, and your guests will be, too.

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This next great idea comes from Amy, the amazing force behind one of my favorite blogs, Eat Drink Chic.  I think each of your bridesmaids would absolutely adore receiving their own, personalized version of these thank you cards, designed by Leslie Lewis Sigler of Lilly & Louise!  Each is a watercolor wash paper silhouette of a dress!  Too cute.

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This next find makes my mouth water and eyes light up.  We’re all familiar with the fabulous Elizabeth Messina; well, CHECK OUT THE CHOCOLATE BARS SHE HAD AT HER OWN WEDDING…

Yeah.  To die.  Steal this idea, PLEASE.  And send me a photo.  :)

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And now, for the ultimate decadence… brought to you by none other than my beloved Tartelette

Vanilla Bean Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches!!!  Don’t you want to stuff those in your mouth immediately?  I do.  All three.

Now, the amazing thing about these tasty beauties is that their GLUTEN FREE, and I’ve never seen anything made without flour look so incredibly delicious.  Except, maybe these.

Aright, kiddies, that’s it for the Finds!  Which of these is your favorite?  I’m dying to know.  I have this sneaking suspicion it’s going to be the ice cream sandwiches, hands down.  But I could be wrong.  Let me know.  ;)

Have a delightful weekend, everyone!  Can’t wait to show you what’s in store next week.  Cannot.  Wait.

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REAL E-SESSION + DIY WEDDING LOVE ❦ Stacey + Chris ❦ Anthro Inspired by Simply Bloom Photography

I dropped by Anthropologie two nights in a row last week, and while my wallet is pissed off, my hypothalamus is giving me a head massage.  It was exhilarating, like shopping so often is – especially since I never go shopping anymore (NO TIME).  I was like a squirrel but with clothes, storing up for the long, warm summer.  Pretty much everything that caught my eye went into my dressing room.  While in there, I happened to overhear a salesgirl kvetching to her coworker; “I can’t STAND IT when these people come IN HERE and pick up EVERYTHING IN THE STORE LIKE ANIMALS.  UGGGGHHH!”  For reasons not worth explaining, I know she wasn’t talking about me, but I also know she didn’t know I was in there, hence the uncensored and highly inappropriate discourse.  (I’m really stealth when I try on clothes.  You can hardly hear me.  Which means I’ve overheard a lot of conversations over time.  Let me tell you, what girls discuss in dressing rooms when they think no one is listening… it’s everything you ever thought it would be.)

Anywho – I bought way too much, but it’s all FABULOUS so I’m pouring over my finds to see if I can part with any of them.  So far, no dice.  I love them all very much.  So much, in fact, that I’m bringing you a wedding from the brilliant duo over at SimplyBloom that has Anthro touches in it!  Because I’m obsessed, you see.  Because I’m obsessed.

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Ok, first, I HAVE to share with you a handful of gumballiscious engagement shots – same couple, different day of course.  I am dying over these.  How much better is eye candy when it’s actual candy?

Click here to go to SimplyBloom‘s blog for the rest of this amazing e-session!

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And now, ladies and germs… feast your eyes on this.  It is one of the most lovely, romantic and smartly decorated affairs I have seen in my lifetime.  As I like to say starting today: delightful little details and a simple, calm color palette make for the dreamiest weddings around. :)

Ok, you know how much I love twine.  And cupcake wrappers are never, ever a bad thing.  Well, twine mated with cupcake wrappers at the hand of Stacey, the bride, to make what you see above and below.  THAT’S THEIR CEREMONY ARCH!  Be still my heart.

Check out the Anthro touches; charming rustic frames and candles, all part of the ceremony decor!

Here’s the bride on the arm of her brother!  This shot is a favorite of mine; how I love precious family moments. :)

Now, look at these reception details, people.  I hope you’re sitting down.  Make sure your boss is either cool or isn’t around, because you might want to stare like an idiot at these shots for a while:

See that darling cake?  It was baked by Chris’ sister.  Now THAT is what I call a sibling.  Chris’ sister, you are the coolest.  You’re also a cake-baking maven; that thing looks phenomenal!

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Want to stare at every last image from this fine day?  Click here to see the rest of “Stacey & Chris’s Anthropologie Inspired Wedding” on SimplyBloom‘s blog!

Photography: SimplyBloom
Found via Bridal Snob

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I’d love to hear what you think of this DIY wedding!  Any details in particular that you’re coveting?  That cake has got me hook, line and sinker.  So cute!

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BRIDAL HEADPIECE LOVE ♡ I want all of these. I’m not kidding.

Lo Boheme

The love I have for these bridal accessories is comparable to that which I hold for my unborn child.  (Don’t have one of those yet so I probably don’t know the true meaning of a statement like that, but I’m still confident that I’ve drawn an appropriate parallel.)

This is not only a grouping of some of the most lovely accessories EVER, but also some truly incredible wedding day hairstyle inspiration.  Heck yes, a twofer!

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First up is Lo Boheme‘s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, shot by the fabulous Marisa Holmes in her historic 1888 studio.  … These make my mouth water.  I need to have about seven of them in my life.  Not to mention those DRESSES.  I wish they were selling those dresses!!!

Check out their etsy shop if you’d like to have one of these beautiful things in your life.

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This next headpiece blows my mind.  I found it over on my darling friend Melissa’s blog, The Loveliest Day.  Check. Out. This. Shot.

Yeah.  That stunning young woman’s name is Dana, and she’s got herself an Etsy shop called Retr0lux, where she sells fabo headpieces just like the one you see on her beautiful head.  And I WANT IT.  I also want to look like this on my wedding day.  Thought I hated huge, ruffled statement mini jackets.  HAH!  I WAS SO WRONG.  Dana defines style for me today.  Can the two of us please go shopping on Melrose sometime?  I didn’t realize I needed some pointers until I met you and your unique, brilliant fashion sense.

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I caught a glimpse of Ban.do‘s new line, the “Black Label,” on Mixed Plate, and it made the happiness area of my brain go insane.  I had never appreciated head decoration all that much until the very first time I discovered Jen and Jamie’s hyper-feminine designs long ago, and this, their newest line, is doing its part to hold my interest.  You guys are gonna eat these things up.  Eat. Them. Up.

Yeah, I told you!  By the way, I kind of can’t take how ridiculously beautiful this model is.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s Alison Sudol, of A Fine Frenzy!  Gotta love it.

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Photos of Lo Boheme pieces taken by Marisa Holmes.
Photos of Retr0lux items taken by Jason Q. Tran.

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | I ♡ Intimate Weddings, Flowers in Bottles, Kissing & Telling, Carving Names in Trees and Cute Overload!

This whole week has been a whirlwind.  It went by in two shakes of a puppy’s butt.  Then on Thursday, this happened:

BARF!

Just kidding – that image makes my heart sing the way that little boy talked about on Oprah that one time.  So do these:

So, you know what those are?  They’re just a few of the images from my most recent guest post on Style Me Pretty!  Arranging the inspiration boards for this wedding brought tears to my eyes; Danah and Ahmad just look so right for one another… there’s this calm contentedness about them.  Sometimes you can just feel that two people are going to make it for the long run.  And it’s not just in their faces, it’s in the kind of affair they threw.  One commentor, named Carrie, said it best: “Just love this wedding… This is just such a wonderful example of a truly sophisticated, classic and elegant wedding!  Best of all, the photos aren’t stuffy making for such a beautiful balance!” {Photos by Amelia Lyon}

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Ok, back to my week: it started out as any fine week does, with what turned out to be a spectacular event put on by the Wedding Salon at the Roosevelt Hotel on Monday (Grazia, I LOVED it.  Fabulous job, missy!), and is rounding itself out with huge loads (sexually inappropriate comment for the day? CHECK) of blog world love and affection that I never, ever… in my wildest dreams… could have imagined would come my way.  For the most part regarding Wednesday’s announcement.  And I’ve got to say, though it may sound a little ridiculous, I feel like the friendships I’ve begun to cultivate since my entry into the bliggity blogosphere actually rival those that have naturally evolved over the span of my lifetime.  Which either makes me a complete tool, or really lucky.  Going with lucky.

This is gonna sound boastful, but I couldn’t possibly thank everybody here, so I just want to send out a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has been so magically delicious in my general direction this week, and always.  I love you with the same intensity that I love this:

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Ok, here’s some proof that it has totally made sense for me to save up all those empty wine bottles all these years. Oh, and say hello again to those Anthro knobs that just keep popping up!  (Sexual reference much?)  KNOTTY TIP: there are almost always a crapload of knobs on sale at Anthro, so they’re totally not hard to get your hands on if you’re looking to recreate a shoot like this one.

{Photos by Paige Newton Photography via Love and Lavender}

By the way, this was Paige’s first ever wedding faux-tography session, as she calls it.  Umm… for serious?  Because this rocks the casbah (cashbar? cazbuh? cahssbuuhh?)

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I. LOVE. THIS.

The Kissing Tree

Here’s why… No. 1: it’s interactive online artwork, which is just one of those fun things that make Friday at work a little bit more tolerable, and No. 2: it reminds me of the book, “The Giving Tree,” a treasure of a read that made my little brother cry when he was young.  Yes, my little (currently 24-year-old) brother is one of those rare types… you know, the type with feelings.  Looks like a football player, but capable of a heart-to-heart.  Perfect guy.

… whose long-term girlfriend lives in Holland.

{Kiss the Groom, a blog by fab photog, Elizabeth Messina.}

Oh, and speaking of Elizabeth… this, this right here, makes me happy:

Click here to check out the rest of Jillian and Rick’s little intimate photo sesh.  But more importantly to read the “kiss & tell” – and go ahead, try to hold back the happy tears.

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Let them eat button cake.


{via Love and Lavender}

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Aaaaaand finally, a totally off-topic find from Cute Overload that beats all of this.  I am quoting the author, “Meg,” here:

OMG. I seriously cannot stop laughing at this poor dog. I think I’ve been laughing for a solid five minutes. Look at that haircut. He must be absolutely furious. LOOK at the fro with the trapezoid that is cut out to allow his beady eyes some room! OMG, ROTFL. And the poor other dog in the background is getting his hair cut the SAME WAY and will have the SAME FATE. Oh, man, this is too much. I haven’t laughed this hard since, well, the last post.

Happy Friday, people!  That’s a wrap for the Fab Finds – hope you liked!!!  And I hope everyone’s got some great plans in the works for the weekend.  I hear the weather’s not going to be so great where I am, so maybe we’ll go dancing.

Did you hear that, honey?  WE SHOULD GO DANCING.

xoxo

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E-SESSION DRESS LOVE ♡ What to Wear for YOUR Totally Rad Engagement Shoot!

Remember that fit I said I was having over an upcoming blog post?  Well, here’s the culprit.  That is, aside from the Nutella which a dear friend so helpfully pointed out was contributing to the twitches.  Now’s as good a time as any to admit that I was essentially free-basing Nutella for the better half of yesterday.  It was my first time, and I overdid it.  I learned my lesson.  No biggie.  No big whoop.  Who caaaaares?!!  Ok, WHAT THE F IS GOING ON.

Enough.  Let’s get straight to it…

When I visit sites like LuLu’s, I get a little overwhelmed.

Now, when you go check it out, you’ll notice that yes, some of the dresses on there are decidedly slutty.  Like, for example, the fact that they’re selling this as a “top,” in the “tops” section.  Yes, just put those aside.  If you can do that, there’s seriously not much more muck to trudge through on this site.  Which leads me to the overwhelmed thing I started in on a few sentences ago.  I tend to have this combined physical and mental response – I get all discombobulated – and it’s the result of seeing a bazillion adorable frocks, all at extremely fair prices.  When the two chemically react with one another they cause my mind to blow up in ecstasy.  Pure, unadulterated, magically delicious (and oh how perfect would it be if it was also sexual) ecstasy.

But putting aside my only recently surfacing unfulfilled desires for fashion-sex, I have some advice for you.

Wear one of these for your engagement photo session.  If you do, you will like the way your pictures turn out.  Trust.

Moon Terrace Dress

Souvenir Dress

Divine Approval Dress

Take It Slow Dress

Deft Precision Dress

Femme Fatale Dress

Boston Fancy Dress

Double Cross Dress

Sweetest Thing Dress

Paint the Roses Red Dress

Guess what?  You can find all that yumminess over at LuLu’s.  You’re welcome.  ;)

So, I’m really curious… which ones are your favorites?  Let’s talk fashion, people!

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OMG | The Wedding Chicks Talked About Me.

Maybe you can imagine my excitement when I saw this over on one of my favorite wedding blogs ever:

If that’s too tiny, for God’s sake go check out the post on the Wedding Chicks’ blog.  They are AWESOME, and I’m not just saying that because of the massive shout out love they gave me re: my new role as a Style Me Pretty guest blogger.  … But ok that is part of it.  Speaking of… THANK YOU for that massive front page shout out, ladies!  You have officially made my week and a half.  And not the kind that goes from Monday all the way through to Thursday.  No, no.  The kind that includes two weekends.  AKA the best kind.  AKA OMIGOD the Wedding Chicks talked about me!!!!!!!!

Lots o’ love goin’ around these days.  Feeling really blessed to be involved in it all.

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INSPIRATION BOARD LOVE | “Really Ridiculous” Wedding Eye Candy. Oh How I ♡ All of These…

During a sweet little stroll through Style Me Pretty‘s Style Circle, I found what my little brother commonly refers to as “really ridiculous.” Roughly translated from guyspeak, really ridiculous is defined as anything that is overwhelmingly beautiful and/or ornate… almost over the top, but not… just perfectly stunning to the fullest.  Ok, that’s my best adaptation of his phrase to the world of wedding inspiration.  If you haven’t deduced it yet, my brother employs the phrase in reference to women. ;)

Quick note and useful tip: all of these boards were created using Style Me Pretty’s inspiration board maker.  If you’ve never used it, I URGE you to give it a try.  Especially if you’ve got some wedding planning to do.  It’s a great tool for any bride looking to work out her color palette, or just explore her options.

And now for my finds:

Love.love.love. these shoes.  Love them.

Top 3 shoes

Like those silver stunners in the lower left, up above?  Here they are again, within a black and white wedding palette.  Not too shabby AT ALL.

It's Black and White

I adore the idea of putting all of your bridesmaids in the same exact heel… as long as that heel has its own very unique or playful style, like the polka dot pumps, below!  Such a fab way to jazz things up and have a little fun.

Black and White Affair

OBSESSED with the next three.

Inspiration

Owl & Pussycat

Soft & Romantic

By the way, you see that darling couple in the board above, in the middle, to the left?  Their wedding was AH.MA.ZING.  Check it out.

The little girl in me loves this board so much she wants to live in it.

Sweet Sakura

This one, too.

little button flowers

Best thing about this board: the Charlie’s Angels pose, with bouquets standing in for firearms.  Truly making peace, not war with this shot.  ;)

Young at Heart

I just really love horses.  And cowboy boots.  And stylish beverage glasses.  And this board:

Country Wedding

There’s a soft, mysterious beauty to this last board that I cannot get past.  My eyes are glued to it.

Bohemia

Wait, do the horses wish they were eagles?  All of them a collective eagle?  I don’t get it, but I luuuurve the rest of this board, so who cares.  (But I really don’t get that.  Anyone?  Am I just being dense?)

In other news… CANNOT WAIT to attend Wedding Salon this evening!  I’m so freakin’ excited over the eye candy and inspiration that awaits me at this fabulous event.  Gonna be insane in the membrane.

… In a very appropriate, reserved and well-mannered kind of way.

Woot!

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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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WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY LOVE | it’s in the details… | Pink + White + Arcade Prize Ticket Delight!

When I saw these photos from Tina and Stephen’s Carmel, California wedding, shot by the talented Aaron Delesie, I got really, really excited.  Which immediately translated into having to share all the yummy goodness with you.  Of course, I’m not surprised by the ridiculously phenomenal quality of these images… you see, Aaron’s no amateur.

Ok, enough with the words – get ready, because these details are AMAZING… for starters, just LOOK AT THAT DRESS!!!

“If I had a hundred wishes I would give them all to you.”

Exquisite, right?  I am so in awe of these images!  I’m a big fan of tiny but meaningful touches in a wedding, and that wheel of “Wish” tickets totally hit the spot for me today.

Reminds me of a nice little moment that happened last weekend at the arcade with the boy (yes, laugh it out, we went to the arcade.  It may be for youngsters, but I think we could all benefit from a little air hockey in our lives).  So, near the end of the evening, we ended up playing a trivia game against another couple and totally clobbering them, which was kind of extremely awesome.  We are competitive apart, so when we join forces… you understand.  Anyway, when all was said and done, we realized we had about a gazillion prize tickets at our feet.  When I was a kid, I was ALL ABOUT the prize tickets… so I was surprised by how little I cared on this day.  I just can’t believe that plastic parachuting militiamen and kazoos were a good enough reward for the blood, sweat and tears I poured into accumulating those tickets.  Even if I was only seven, those prizes are seriously LACKING.

Back to the present day story; we added them up, and together we had approximately a lot of tickets.  We walked over to the counter and scanned our options ~ yup, paratroopers and kazoos still available.  Nice.  We weren’t finding anything.

Next thing I know, fiancé motions to follow him and, leaving our position in line, he spots a young man with an infant in his arms.  And what does he do?  He hands our tickets over to them.  I was so, incredibly angry at him I cou— just kidding.

Loved it.  Love him.

Photography: Aaron Delesie

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INSPIRATION BOARDS | Color Palette: Right in Between Some Blue and Some Green…

Totally in love with these two sets of dreamy shots by one fabulous board creator, Niki :D.  Of the first set, I’m obsessed with the goldfish shot, and the color of that fence in the upper right-hand corner makes my brain tingle with joy.  Truly brilliant coloring tends to have that effect on me.  (Yeah, I should probably get that checked – brain tingles?)

Of the second set, I’m completely in love with the ballooned toe.  I could have phrased that several different ways, but “ballooned toe” pleases me in an unparalleled way, so it stays.  (Just one of the perks of being the editor.)

I adore the way both sets teeter between the colors blue and green, without ever stepping into true blue or true green territory.  Quite remarkable to me.  Not to mention excellent wedding color scheme inspiration, in my opinion.

Faves:

2. 73/365 (by Vanessa Paxton)

3. Is also friday for me!!!! (by Françoise Rachez)

Key to board above: 1. Vintage Blue,  2. 73/365,  3. Is also friday for me!!!!,  4. Old ladder,  5. winter butterfly,  6. 31/365,  7. inspired by vintage {tiffany},  8. the perfect fence,  9. dress code

***

Fave:

3. Sad… (by Kimberly Chorney)

Key to board above: 1. hope is a waking dream. [ aristotle ],  2. Tiny Flowers,  3. Sad…,  4. ~~*~~,  5. COLLECTIONS {Shells II},  6. Bench Monday(Beautiful summer),  7. a gift,  8. Untitled,  9. Little Blue Bench,  10. signs of summer,  11. ~Upon a summer’s breeze,  12. Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

Boards created by: Niki :D

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