TORI + DEAN | a chic, casual vow renewal | Color Scheme: Grey + Yellow + White + a Touch of Gold!

First, a quick admission.  We had Cheesecake Factory again last night. Laaaaawd help me, I am obsessed.  Those taquitos… once they hit your lips… and that cheesecake.  Well, obvs.

Ok, so you know Tori Spelling, right?  Ok, stupid question.  I think it’s safe to say that we all know quite a bit about her.  But here’s something you may not know… she has PHENOMENAL TASTE IN VOW RENEWAL PARTY DECOR.  The photos you are about to behold were snapped by the amazing Elizabeth Messina, and they are TO DIE.  Simply, TO DIE.

Hellooooo amazetastic detail inspiration!  How’s it goin’?

WHOOOOOAAAAAAA!!!!!! Right?  Am I right?

I mean, seriously, how much are you loving this?  Because I’m just sitting here, in awe of how much I actually adore each of these details.  And not in a hyperbolic blogger sense.  I mean it.  If I was standing right now, and I saw these images, I’d probably faint 0ut of – ok, now we’re getting hyperbolic.  Lemme bring it back down a notch.  But seriously, I am crazy about Tori and Dean’s taste in decor and if I had the honor of Tori planning my affair, I swear to the heavens, I’d give her carte blanche.  I’d honestly let go of the reigns entirely, and let her run free and style away.  Don’t believe me?  Well, unfortunately I won’t get to prove it to you because Tori’s probably busy.  I could check… but yeah that’s not happening.  But if she was into it?   You’d see.  Yeah, you’d see.  Carte blanche.

Now, aren’t these the cutest?

The typewriter and wall of photos are both killing me with their charm.

And now for my favorite board of all: the yellow motorcycle slash chalkboard inspired signage slash pool with a flower pom board.  Oh heaven, I have found you here on Earth.  In Tori and Dean’s vow renewal party.  Who knew?

I know you guys are obsessing over the chalkboards.  I know.  And I’m right there with you.

By the way, here’s a photo of the cute couple and their darling little bebez:

{Photos by Elizabeth Messina via her gorgeous blog, Kiss the Groom}

Let me know how you all feel about this decor inspiration.  Do you like it, love it, or – the most extreme – want more of it?  Chime in!  By the way, hope you’re having a pleasant little hump day.  Ahhh, Wednesdays, how I sort of {heart} you, but not really.

xoxo!  -Alison

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SMILEBOOTH | photo booth backdrop inspiration | Streamers, Confetti, Whatevs, Make Your Own!

Ok, I am obsessed with a lot of things.  (You’ll likely remember this thing, which has a lot in common with today’s post.)  Frankly, I don’t know how I make it through the day with so many obsessions in tow.  I see something I love (aka a new obsession), I jot it down on one of myriad post-its or leave the tab open on my browser, next to the 47 other tabs that are currently open (shh, don’t tell AppleCare about that).  So you get it.  I get obsessed with something unique/uniquely pretty/uniquely fantastical/uniquely priced for the value/etc.  And I keep it, on paper or open indefinitely in a browser tab.  And Smilebooth is no different.  In fact it hails from tab No. 4 in my Firefox browser, which means me loved it long time.  (Note: I have Firefox and Safari open concurrently, as I need access to two email accounts – you know how we do).

There are sooooo many reasons to love Smilebooth.  I love the people I met who operate it (they are radically nice, polite and all around good people); I love the concept; I love the memories created; I love the ease of use/interactiveness, etc.  See?  Lots of reasons.  Ok, great.  But there’s something I love even more than any of that, combined…

And it’s photo booth BACKDROP INSPIRATION!  Behoooold:

And what’s more?  They don’t just do the pictures and leave the backdrop entirely to you (unless that’s what you want, of course).  They can create a CUSTOM BACKDROP for your special event!  THIS IS SO RAD I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK, ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK.

Check it: you really can go in any direction you want with this…

FYI: I think it’s BYOC (bring your own costume)…

Here’s the skinny from the source:

We will work one on one with you to create an environment for your Smilebooth that gets your guests excited and adds that special touch to your photos. We can design the backdrop to compliment your wedding/event and carry out its overall theme. Or we can create something completely outrageous and different!

Love it.  How fun does designing a custom backdrop for your photo booth photos sound?  Because I think it sounds the funnest.  I also don’t think anyone’s questioning that.  However, you’re free to go backdropless, if you dig a clean look:

See?  It’s all about giving great face.

Actually, all you really need is a bunch of rad, free people who aren’t afraid to let loose and be a little silly on film.  Yeah, I have friends like that.  Fer. Sure.  And now I’m getting excited about the kind of Smilebooth experience I could have here.  Ok, this is a must.

{By the way, for those who are interested, you can get that blue dress above at Lulu*s (show below in white and coral).  You’re welcome.}

Anyway, as I was saying, I am deeply in love with the Smilebooth concept, and wholeheartedly recommend hiring them for your festivity, whatever it may be.  Want to check out more photos?  Take a trip on over to the raddest of blogs, run by Matt of Our Labor of Love, to check out some killer Smilebooth craziness.  Personally, I can’t get enough.  For example, check out this masterpiece I grabbed from Matt’s blog:

How freaking brilliant is all of that.  Smilebooth rules.

So, what do you think?  Do you love the idea of designing your own backdrop?  Would it be colorful or bare?  Or is this just not for you?  Chime in; I’m dying to know what you think!

xoxo!  -Alison

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SOUTHERN BRIDE WITH SERIOUS STYLE {Plus: our Dad’s Day & the best parenting advice I’ve ever read…}

Happy Monday, you crazy kids.  How were your weekends?  Do anything special?  Fiancé and I spent a nice, calm summer day with my Popsicle et al and, all in all, it was pretty relaxing.  (Plus, I made a cake!)  By the way, to all the brides who got married on Father’s Day: I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful gift to your dad than to let him walk you down the aisle on such a meaningful day.  Both my Dad and I are major proponents of the idea!  So congrats to any of you who got hitched on Sunday – well played!

(Like the shoes?  You might love the Badgley Mischka Randee featured in this post.  Btw, if you like ruffled things, here’s my fave quilt EVER.)

Alright, today I’ve got a couple of things I thought I’d share with you, the first of which I’m going to pepper in throughout all the chatter of the second one…

So, number one = totally stylish bridal look inspiration, as photographed by the endlessly creative genius that is Elizabeth Messina and;

Number two = details about how my Dad spent his Father’s Day.  Plus, I’ve got a comment on good parenting at end of this post.  Well, more like an excellent quote on the topic.  Not that you care, but I’m sharing anyway.  (;

* * *

Ok, I am obsessed with this bride’s style, and think you might be, too.

* * *

Back to Dad’s Day… some of you might remember that little bit of unsolicited advice I dispensed about Father’s Day at the very end of this post right here; well, I like to make a habit of taking my own medicine, which translates into the kind of Father’s Day we gave the ol’ patriarch.  So, how did he spend his day?  Exactly the way he wanted to (most activities done with his loving wife by his side):

-watched his morning news programs
-watched Italy and New Zealand end in a tie
-went for a walk
-had a heart to heart with his kidsters
-took a shower
-went to a friend’s barbeque
-got heartwarming cards and calls from each of his kids
-watched a bunch of golf
-took a break to have dinner with us
-watched the end of the golf
-had an amaaaaazing black and white (choc/vanilla) cake with sprinkles, made by yours truly
-then we had him listen to this
-then he went for another walk, during which he thanked his wife (my Mom) for giving him wonderful children (which she did, thank you very much).  Awwwwwwww.  Right?

Sprinkling in more shots of the bride and this unbelievable wedding!


Gorgeous.  You MUST check out more on Elizabeth Messina‘s blog, Kiss the Groom.  You MUST.

* * *

Because yesterday was Father’s Day, and because proper parenting is so important and so little advice is given to those who don’t actively seek it out, I thought today would be the perfect day to include a passage my fiancé brought to my attention.  It’s by the great Kahlil Gibran, author of “The Prophet.”  I don’t have kids, so I’m no authority by any stretch, but I’ve got to believe this is one of the smartest bits of thought on the subject of parenting, imo:


Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends with you His might that His arrows might go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~ Kahlil Gibran

Hope you enjoyed both bits of this post!  I’m curious, what do you think of today’s bride’s style?  Are you into the ruffle-mania, the statement headgear, the whole shebang?  Share your thoughts, either way!

xoxo!  -Alison

{Credits: Sweet southern nuptials via Elizabeth Messina‘s Kiss the Groom}

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I ♥ YOUR PROPOSAL STORIES! (Also: promoting the blog & more wed obsessions!)

More on that loveliness in a few…


(Note: stories still being accepted)

Ok, so let me just say that the response to this has been AMAZEBALLS.  (Thank you, Michelle Ward, for turning me on to that one, by the way.)  I mean, I knew you guys would be into it, and I also knew you all had some pretty amazing stories to tell, but HELLO.  My inbox is flooded with heartwarming, well thought out, totally surprising, totally inspiring proposal stories that had me sitting on the edge of my seat yesterday with a tissue box at the ready.  And I have to say – the most surprising thing of all, so far?  The stories that have come in from the guys out there.  I don’t know how you came upon the site, where from or who recommended you visit, but I am SO GLAD YOU FOUND ME.  Because your proposal stories/photos/videos are RULING.  And by the way?  The stories I’m getting from all my females out there are equally as awesome – please don’t get me wrong, ladies.  I just felt compelled to give a z100 shout out to the fellas submitting their love-laden stories to the blog.  I didn’t expect it and it has made my year!  (Seriously, just wait until you read/see/watch these things.  I cannot wait to share them all!!!)

* * *


Fun fact: the fiancé has been mostly a back-end guy (SHUT UP) when it comes to the site here.  However, recently he’s been trying his hand at a little TKB promotion.  He asked me some time ago for a handful of my business cards, with the intention of handing them to engaged girls near his workplace.  Every day he says he sees ladies with huge rocks on their fingers and he calls them all “missed opportunities.”  (In a business sense, not a nailing sense, obvs.)  He’s really serious about this, and because I admire his business sense, and have always felt I can trust his public and interpersonal appropriateness, I thought, hey, why not?  It’s not my first choice marketing approach, but he certainly wasn’t reinventing the wheel.  Well, last night I saw him in action…

Scenario one: He spies a young woman with a ginormous engagement ring.  STOPS in the middle of the crosswalk.  RUNS TO CATCH UP WITH HER.  She’s listening to music and walking briskly.  Taps her on the shoulder and somewhat smoothly shoves the card in her face.  RUNS AWAY FROM HER AND BACK TO ME.

Scenario dos: notices a young couple sitting a couple tables away from us at dinner.  Asks me: “can you tell if she’s wearing just an engagement ring, or both an engagement ring and a wedding ring?”  Me: “Why.”  Him: “You know why.”  I’m already a little wary of what’s about to go down, but I decide to go along with it, and I peer over to check her finger.  It’s dark, I’m half-committed to the operation anyway, and so I can’t make out anything.  Me: “Can’t tell.”  Him: I THINK IT’S ONE… I’M GOING FOR IT…”  Me: “No… wait, WHAT?  No… ok fine.”  (He’s already up when I say ok fine.)  She gets up, he asks her if she’s engaged or married… WEIRDED. OUT.  She says, “umm… I’m married.”  He still gives her the card because how weird would that have been if he just walked away from the scene?!  Card wasted? check.  Girl sufficiently weirded out? check.  Valiant, if misguided, effort by the fiancé? check.

I took the remaining cards back.  Actually, I didn’t have to say anything – he handed them over.

I am rethinking this approach.  But even more, I’m waiting for these girls to leave comments on the blog.  I expect they will go something a-like a-this:

“umm, hi alison, I like your site, I’m glad some random dude accosted me on the street/while I was enjoying dinner with my husband in a restaurant and shoved your card in my face.  I know I gave him the dirtiest of looks when he turned around, but your business card is kickass and I just had to visit.  So all in all, a win-win!”

* * *

And now, since it was such a big freaking hit yesterday:


Remember that headgeartastic shot I threw in at the top of this post?  Here’s some more amazing amazingness, from Andrea and Marcus of Tag7 Photography

And a lil more…

Headpieces: Twigs & Honey
Dresses: KirstieKelly Bridal Sarah Seven
Shrug: Elizabeth Dye
Hair & Makeup: Erin SkipleyLauren Napier


Ok, I’m about to g0 heavy on the Tec Petaja love today, because, well, he is phenom.  So here we go…

Yep, he took this shot:

Satin belt: J. Crew / “Julianna” Dress: Christos / Photo: Tec Petaja / via WeddingBee


Here, by the way, is the Julianna in all its runway glory:


Watermelon Moon Farm- Lebanon

Obsessing over that sweet lil white frock she’s sporting.  Obsessing.

Watermelon Moon farmJoy Thigpen EnvironmentsOncewedLiz AgricolaB. Hughes


Details- Part II

Quick reminder that Father’s Day is June 20th this year.  So if you’ve got a Hubby or Popsicle (that’s what I affectionately call my Dad; yeah, you can steal it) who deserves a little special treatment, DO SOMETHING for him.  No pressure.  But keep in mind the fact that the World Cup games may be slightly more important to the man than family time in a cabin upstate.  Just sayin’. She learned the hard way.

xoxo!  -Alison

I almost forgot to ask: what are your thoughts on today’s obsessions – any standout faves?  And if you don’t feel like talking about that, then what are your plans for Father’s Day, if any?

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SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL STORY | Plus: Things With Which I’m Obsessed…

This space in my heart is in the shape of you.  No one else can fit in.  Why would I want them to?  – Jeanette Winterson

That quote is from the wedding stationery of one of the couples I’ve featured below.  And I adore it.

* * *

Hello and happy Tuesday, peeps!  More on that beautiful bedroom scene above in a minute.  Now, listen up, my georgishmorgies!

As a wedding blogger, I read about and hear proposal stories all the goshdarn day.  And you know what?  I’m getting really sic… just kidding.  I quite like it.  No, I LOVE IT.  And it’s come to the point where I seriously want some more of it.

Which brings me to my first order of news: word of this has circulated around the Twittersphere quite a bit already, but I’d like to formally announce it today, on zee blog.  I’m planning to do a series on proposal stories from you guys – that’s right, my dear readers! – and submissions are being accepted, yo.  I am so excited about the stories I’ve received already, and I just KNOW there are some pretty amazing/fun/romantic/long-planned stories still sitting out there in your minds, waiting to be featured.  So, if you’d like to be considered for a proposal feature on The Knotty Bride, by all means, have at it!  Be as talkative/detail-oriented/short and sweet/foul-mouthed as you’d like.  (To the foul-mouthed: ye shall be edited, slightly… but not as much as you might expect.)

The bare necessities… the simple, bare necessities:

1. The story of how your lover proposed (yes, I just linked to that hilarity again, thank you very much).

2. Photos from your engagement session or, if you did not have an e-session, high quality images of you and your beloved.  Note: a photo (taken by anyone) of the site of the proposal is preferred, but not required.

3. Submit to theknottybride{@} – I’m looking forward to reading them!

* * *

And now, as promised, I present to you some things with which I’m OBSESSED:

This ruffled quilt from west elm… not to mention the ENTIRE BEDROOM DESIGN APPROACH going on at the tippy top of this post.  Oh how I covet all of what’s going on here.


You remember that Winterson quote that started us off, today?  It’s courtesy of Laura and Dave, the couple involved in this wedding, which was photographed by One Love Photo and planned by Married & More with Michelle:

By the way, there are tall, slender trees on the beaches in Seattle?  Umm, that’s awesome.



Totally obsessing over this twinkle cuff and statement hair accessory, both from fashion designer and Project Runway finalist, Carol Hannah Whitfield.  (Check out her shop!)


This wedding, by Audrey Hannah, for these ring-related reasons:

And this wedding, also by Audrey Hannah, for the beautiful crying, striking eyes and detail love below:

Note: this is so what would be going down between my Mom and me.  SO.  Except this bride’s crying face is cute.  Mine?  Not so much.


This show.  Because she and I have the same first name.  And that’s the only reason.  By the way, Frank seems nice; I like his passion.  And I haaaaaaaaate the R.I. lawyer.  Haaaaaaaaaate.  Plus he calls her sweetie, like, twice, the moment he meets her.  He’s creepy and conceited and she shall not pick him. Also, Kasey sounds like he has a family of frogs in his throat.  WHAT IS UP with that.


Aaaaand finally, this color palette (when I saw the below on Etsy, my mind went wild with wedding color scheme inspiration.  I cannot begin to tell you how perfect these colors are… please consider them… you will make my year):

Ok, let the proposal submissions begin!  Remember, send your stories/photos to theknottybride{@} -  thanks!

By the way, I’d love to know what you think of these random finds… I just loved so much today, I couldn’t choose just one thing to share!  Any faves?

xoxo!  -Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | June 11 | Part V ~ my favorite couple of the week {obsessing even more over these pre-wedding details…}

Do you recall that first photo I featured from Moko and Jovita’s wedding?  Well, a couple of their pre-wedding photos were used to create that display.  And if you liked that, ooooohhoohhoooo… you are gonna love the crap outta this

It’s couples and pictures like these that make my brain go wild with ideas.  Amazing, outlandish, colortastic and cripplingly plentiful ideas.  And then, as per usual, indecision prevails.  But it’s super fun to stare at the decisions others have made!  And these are the most creative I’ve seen all week!  Enjoy:  {Continue reading…}

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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.


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…”


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…)

* * *

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.


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.


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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DIY + PRINTABLE LOVE | Free Banner Printable + DIY FAVES LIST!

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend!  The boy and I spent some time at Renegade Craft Fair on Sunday and aside from the gale-force winds and intermittent murderous rain droplets, it was a pretty fun experience.  More on that a bit later in the week.  And by the way, no I didn’t drag him.  He came willingly.  But I should note that I’ve sat through my – and your – fair share of uneventful baseball games.  (I say “uneventful” because I rather enjoy the eventful ones.  No matter the sport.  Well, save for soccer.  “Uneventful” games are those that even the guys don’t really enjoy, but they watch, just in case something happens.  They are a FUN FAIL.)

Ok, so here’s the news: I love banners.  Look, if you will, at the banner-related adorableness below, which I plucked from a past post.

Everything about that lovely mustached couple’s dessert table is perfection, but, for me, the “Sweet Love” banner takes the cake. (:

And here’s a little e-sesh banner action, which I scoped out on Love and Lavender:

Ohh, the many fine uses of grocery store doilies.  They aren’t just for tea overflow anymore!

(Click here to see the rest of this e-session if you’re digging it!)

{Photos: SoCal wedding photographers Gabriel Ryan and Carlie Renee}

* * *

Ok, so given my penchant for the above, I think it’s quite obvious why I lurve this DIY project from Martha.  It combines my unwavering obsession with beautiful, easy DIY projects with my love for all things involving and/or related to typography.  Hence, my happiness over this find.

By the way, you do know how much I love typography… right?  Here‘s your proof.  Here, too.  And here.  If you needed it.

Also, I’m pretty sure there’s no confusion out there over whether or not I go batty over beautiful, eye-catching DIY ideas and free printables meant to make a bride’s wedding day that extra bit of special we all crave… but here‘s the proof on that, too.  Want some more?  No problem; why don’t you check out this partial list of my posted projects and printables!  Hope you enjoy!

There’s this one, which is SO cute

I LOVE this one – it’s labeliscious (:

This one‘s LOADED with inspiration for your own pretty packaging…

Here’s some more Martha DIY project love…

Ooh, and another a lovely labels find

Some of my favorite holiday DIY + free printables

You can scroll down to the last four project pics of this post; they are just sooooo perfect…

Love this treat packaging idea, which is also ideal for your wedding favors…

… And the list goes on, of course.  So, yeah, I really enjoy doing it [my]self.

* * *

Wedding banners have been around for a long time; everyone has seen the words “Just Married” – the most traditional phrase – on at least one rear window, bike seat, or even cake topper in their lives…

Oohh, speaking of toppers…

(Click the topper to go to that post!)

However, maybe you’re looking for something much more unique in your wedding banner, but don’t really want to have to make it yourself?  Or, maybe you’re searching for a less classic/traditional look in your banner.  Of course, that’s no problem at all these days, given the choices that have come out of the woodwork over the past several years.  There are a number of vendors out there who would be thrilled to help you out with that.

Here’s today’s alternative idea: howsabout a wedding papel picado banner, or maybe some custom flag centerpieces?

If you likey, check out aymujer’s Etsy shop for these and more!

Hope you enjoyed this one!  Let me know – are you a fan of wedding/e-session banners?  I think it’s obvious that I am, but I’m super curious what you guys think.  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!  And if you’re ambivalent, you can just tell me about your weekend.  (:

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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REAL WEDDING [ENVY] ❦ ashley + derek ❦ Photos by Stephanie Williams

There are no words.

But I’m gonna try.


Listen, if there’s one thing you all know about me, it’s that I’m never, ever, eeeeverrrrr at a loss for words.  I’m a writer; words are my friends.  But with this wedding, I’m struggling to keep my jaw off the floor long enough to form a coherent sentence.

Jewelry-wise, bouquet-wise, dress-wise, tan-wise, everything-wise.  It’s all chanting my name.  Alison.  Alison.  Seriously, if you were sitting next to me right now, you’d think I was touching myself, what with the oooohhs and aaaahhhs that are pouring out of my mouth.

I’m truly in awe of every last bit of this affair, and I will still be in awe in the days and weeks that follow this single post.  Because this is one of those rare moments when something that’s just too good to be true… is actually a real wedding.

I’m gonna say it – if I had to choose only ten weddings to take with me to a deserted island, I dare say with real conviction that this chic, stunning affair would be among them.  The design touches – and, more importantly, the brilliance that Stephanie Williams employs in documenting them – just straight up take my breath away.  This wedding turns the volume up to eeeleven.  It’s just that good.

Here are some words from Stephanie:

Ashley + Derek are two wonderful people!  They were married at the lovely Mary Star of the Sea church in La Jolla with reception at the Darlington House.  We had so much fun documenting their wedding day, which was filled with family + friends – lots of dancing and a little Southern flare! Stephanie + Heather from Amorology did an amazing job coordinating the days events and all the lovely decor! Amazing cakes + desserts by Sweet Cheeks Baking Company.  Gorgeous wedding dress by Anne Barge.  Flowers by KLF FloralBlue Breeze Band kept all the guests dancing! Delicious food by Tapendade.

You MUST head over to Stephanie Williamsblog to check out the rest of this wow factor wedding.  MUST.

I truly hope you love this one as much as I do!  But seriously, do you love?  I’m dying to know how you guys are feeling about this wedding.

Ooh, and quick note: doesn’t her dress look a bit like the white version of the Romona Keveza stunner I featured here (tippity top) and (OMG) here?  *Sigh.*  Totally obsessed.

xoxo!  -Alison

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

Traces of Eyelet!

In A Twinkling Dress

Nueva Granada Necklace

For your bridesmaids? → Drifting By Dress

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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

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

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

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


Credit: Open Air Photography by Katie Stoops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ruffles and frays flower belt in smokey gray $13.99

ruffles and frays flower belt in rosey pink ~ $13.99

symmetrically pleased belt in pure ivory white ~ $19.99

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

Sure Lock Dress ~ $128

Camilla Dress ~ $138

Do you love, or do you love?

* * *

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

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

Andres Sarda via The Cinderalla Project

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

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

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

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



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DETAIL LOVE ❦ Looks + Styling + Props ❦ Details for the Perfectly Pretty Engagement Shoot or Wedding!

↑ Dripping Dew Necklace

↑ Gold Dust Chemise

But first, a story…

Over the weekend, the boy and I went into town and had some breakfast, because eating’s important.  As we were walking back, we saw on our right this adorable little dessert table set up on the sidewalk.  It was a tiny little bake sale, and there were two cute young moms manning the post.  We had passed it on our way to breakfast, and it had smelled de-li-cious, so I was like, yay it’s still there!  Brownies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes… everything.  You name it.  Oh how I love mini mommy bake sales on the sidewalk in Park Slope!

Anyway, for no reason at all as is so often the case with me, I found myself walking a little bit ahead of the fiancé, and passed by the table first on our way back home.  So, in that moment of realizing that my tendency to walk faster than the average bear and my lack of awareness of or concern for those with whom I’m supposedly walking had struck again, I turned around just in time to see the boy abruptly jerk his head up towards the ladies and stare at one of them with an “I totally heard that” look on his face.  This caused the two women to erupt in embarrassed laughter.

The whole thing was peculiar, and I was soooo curious about what had happened.  I slowed down to join him again – seriously, this happens so often, I really need to get a handle on my speed walking (some of my strolling partners have been known to become noticeably out of breath) – Anyway, I slowed down, and when we were again side by side, I asked him wussup.

ME: “Wussup?”

FIANCÉ: “She said ‘eat my cookie.’”

She said EAT MY COOKIE.  A Park Slope bake sale mommy said “eat my cookie” essentially to my fiancé.  It was stupendous.  How freaking scandalous is that?!!  I wish things like this happened more often.  Especially in Park Slope.  I should have gotten her number so we could share childhood stories and stay out really late, like, ’til 10:30pm or something outrageous like that.  And then hold mini bake sales during which we hit on unwitting young men whose fiancées are walking waaaaaaay ahead of them and so they appear to be fair game.  Ooooohhhh I think I just stumbled upon my dream way to spend the summer.

Anyway, back to reality.  In celebration of this rare, weird event, I present to you – because free association rules the roost here – the most perfect little ceramic cookie jar from Anthropologie!  Also, its friends, Tools and Biscuits jars.  And everything else I love at Anthro right now that I think would make for a beautifully styled e-session (or wedding)… from fashion to dishtowels to table decoration.  Here we go!

↑ Ceramic Cookie Jar

↑ Provencal Canisters

Birds on a Wire Dinnerware

↑ Francophile Dinnerware

↑ Milkmaid Butter Dish

↑ Mina Tablecloth & Napkin

↑ Coffee & Cake Dishtowel

↑ Ant’s Art Apron 2

↑ Plucked Petals Measuring Cups

↑ Mr. & Mrs. Shakers

↑ Rushing Whirlpool Tumbler

↑ Fleur de Lys

↑ Stripey Straws + Castle Key Bottle Opener

↑ Opalescent Tumbler

↑ Fleur Recipe Cards + Coral Branches Measuring Spoons

Secret Passageway Cuff + Mined Leaf Earrings

↑ Beach Bounty Necklace

↑ Carved Tears Peep-Toes

↑Botanical Stroll Dress

↑ Condensation Necklace

Just wondering, have you heard about Anthro’s plans for a bridal line?

Also, check out my dress picks from Lulu’s for the stylish bride in need of a fab e-session frock!

Aaaaaand the prettiest picks from Reiss’ newest collection!

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REAL WEDDING ❦ Louisa + Justin ~ Bali, Indonesia ❦ Sloan Photographers

THIS WEDDING = MAXIMUM AWESOMENESS.  And, in my opinion, a hot pink/fuchsia fête has never looked so good.

Seriously, when I saw this wedding by Matt and Angie of Sloan Photographers, I wanted to do the Homer Simpson running around in a circle on the floor dance.  Because the beauty, the colors, the details… EVERYTHING about this wedding is outRAGEOUS.  It’s bursting at the seams with jaw-dropping inspiration!

* * *

* * *

I officially need a shot in front of a fireworks display at my wedding now.  Which means I just added fireworks to my wants list.

So awesome, right?  Amazing work, Mr. & Mrs. Sloan!  Gotta love husband and wife photography teams.  Click here to check out the rest of this fantastic party over on the Sloan Photographers blog!

Photography: Sloan Photographers

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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.

* * *

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!

* * *

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!

* * *

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

* * *

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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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ❦ stylish wedding looks ❦ A Perfectly Altered Dress + A Timeless ‘Do

When I saw the wedding of Shannon and Pratap, shot by Sara of OneLove Photography, I got really excited.

I just LOVE this wedding; the details make me so incredibly happy.  The little Ferrero Rocher gold-foil wrapped chocolates (a childhood fave of mine) marking each guest’s seat at the table, the bride’s big, magnificent jewelry, the simplicity and skillful use of color… and, most of all… HER DRESS.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is how a dress should fit.  You know and I know that it really does all come down to that.  (Well, aside from all the love and happiness stuff, but you follow me.)

The thing is, if your dress fits properly, you own the day.  Simple as that.  No worries about photos marred by your constant need to lift a falling strapless gown – which happens waaaaay too often.  No unsightly gathering or bulging at the waste when you sit down to eat (that is, if you sit down to eat).  Proper fit is important, and I advise you to go out and get it.  But don’t fret; it’s not a requirement that you spend copious amounts of your earnings on alterations.  You may need to do a little sleuthing, but I’m confident that someone you know, somewhere, has the 411 on a stellar seamstress who’s well-versed in making dress dreams come true.

Doesn’t she look phenomenal?!!  A perfect fit will leave you looking stylish and sexy, but still completely appropriate.  Which is pretty much my definition of the ideal wedding day look.

Now, check out a bride with what I consider a fab, simple ‘do, also shot by Sara.  Her name’s Julie, and while she’s stunning head to toe, I especially admired what she did up top on her wedding day.  So basic; half-up, half-down.  But the classic, timeless beauty of the look she has accomplished makes me swoon!

And she’s single-handedly made me a believer in cascading bouquets.

Photos: OneLove Photography {Weddings 1 & 2}

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Aaaand one last thing.  Kat of Rock ‘n Roll Bride tweeted this find, which was discovered by her husband.  It is just too funny not to share with you guys.  Enjoy!


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Can I borrow this?  I mean, you are done with it.  Sooooo…

Oh, and the shoes, too.  Thaaaaaanks!

Here’s why I love this dress (which was featured in one of Abby’s amazing real weddings on Style Me Pretty):

I’ve always been frustrated by two very conflicting desires I have for “THE DREAM” dress.  One desire is to have a gown that is simple, playful and girlie, which, for me, translates to just right above the knee.  Plus, everybody has a certain feature that they love about themselves, and for me, it’s my gams.  (And if you don’t have a feature that you love about yourself, STOP IT.  YOU’RE BEING TOO CRITICAL.  And if you’re really having trouble, ask someone if you must… in fact it’ll probably make your day.)  The other (equally strong) desire is to achieve a classic, elegant look, and not to appear foolish and/or stunted.  Which, for me, translates most likely to a floor-length gown.  I’ve always assumed that there’s really no in-between, aside from those mid-calf-cutting pedal pusher frocks.  And what I know for certain is that I will NOT wear a dress that cuts me off mid-calf.  Here’s a little history on that…

When I was younger, I didn’t look like what these 13- and 14-year-old-girls look like these days.  I don’t know why, maybe I didn’t drink enough hormone-laden milk products during my formative years.  Whatever.  I just didn’t look like a woman when I was a child.  And in more recent years, I’ve totally embraced that fact.  It gave me a few more years to be a kid, and for that, I’m grateful.  But it wasn’t doing me any favors back when I was living it.  The reason I’m telling you that story is because two features I haaaaaaaaaaaated about my body were calf 1 and calf 2.  I really, really, really hated them.  And I wasn’t yet the towering 5’4 I am now, so my legs were shorter… and I played soccer.  And my mother is German.  Sooooo… I had muscular calves.  I think they were the recessive and dominant genes available… it was my destiny.  They weren’t like these massive calves by any means, it’s just that everyone pointed them out, and how “powerful” they looked.  (Thanks, everyone, for that, by the way.)

When I think back on what they said, I realize that they were being more flattering than anything else, but you really can’t blame me.  I mean, come on, these were the puber-tastic days.  Puberty is defined as not being able to process the pointing out of extremely unique bodily features as a good thing.  That is the definition.  So I felt hopelessly different, and it totally made the issue far worse in my mind than it ever was.

Anywho, fast-forward a couple years later, and everything changed.  EH. VRUH. THUH.  I got those things the milk drinkers got – but they came about naturally, which was obviously best.  It was a case of latent (or maybe, appropriately-timed?) genetic onset.  And boy was life full of sunshine and lollipops from that point, forward.  (HAHAHH, just kidding.  Boobs and proportional legs do not a perfect life make, Heidi Montag Pratt.  But I think you already know that at this point.  Actually, do you?)

… Anyway, that kinda sorta in a roundabout way leads me to why I’m a fan of this dress.  It’s a sweet little combo of elegant, floor-length style, and tea-length playfulness, all rolled up into one heck of a gown.  With no mid-calf cutting of any kind!

Aaalllllright!  So!  Enough about me, eh?  Picture time:

About the dress, since you’re probably wondering: Melody (the bride) purchased it in Manhattan at Cheap Jack’s Vintage Store – I am NOT messing with you, this is real – and had it custom altered to fit her more modern aesthetic:

“My dress was purchased at Cheap Jacks Vintage store in Manhattan for $350. It has no tags, so it might be homemade, circa the 50’s/60’s.  It was full length and I had it cut off to be short in the front and long in the back, removed the straps and a pink flower applique, added a jeweled belt, and basically redesigned the entire thing…”

Yeah.  She wasn’t kidding around.  Amazing job, Melody.

By the way, this girl and I were separated at birth.  Evidence:

“My headpiece was purchased on Etsy. It’s actually three things all pinned on my head together because I couldn’t find one I liked by itself.”

My dear sister.  We are reunited at last.

Looooove what’s goin’ on with her MOH’s get-up, too:

And finally, my fave shot of the day, below.

Isn’t it lovely?  Isn’t it wooonderrrrrfuuul?

Credits, courtesy of Style Me Pretty:

Photographer: Craig Paulson / Venue: The Foundry in Long Island City / Wedding Dress: Purchased at Cheap Jack’s Vintage Store; custom altered by the bride / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hair Accessories: Twigs & Honey / Bride’s Tattoo: Marco Serio at Invisible NYC / Hair: Lisa Carroll from Tommy Guns salon in NYC / Maid of Honor’s dress: Foley and Corinna / MOH shoes: Calvin Klein / MOH hair piece: Latish Angeline

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VINTAGE INSPIRATION ❦ e-session props + details I love ❦ Simply Bloom Photography

I am SO EXCITED about these pictures.

I think it’s no secret around here how positively OBSESSED I am with the ladies of Simply Bloom.  But here‘s some proof.  Here, too.

And here‘s a more recent post featuring one of their yummiest engagement sessions EVUH.  If you decide to click on it, you’ll see that I included a teaser in anticipation of this exact shoot that I am so freakin’ excited to share with you now.  I am, like, bursting at the seams right now over this shoot!!!

The biggest thing I take away from these photos – aside from their outRAGEOUS beauty and color – is the impact that just a few thoughtfully chosen details can have on your very own e-session.  If you’re looking to ramp up the cute factor of your upcoming shoot, I suggest taking some pointers from Vania and Christine’s direction with this shoot (they’re the dynamic duo behind Simply Bloom).  This means a trip to the antique store is a MUST.  You never know what you’ll find and that makes it SOOOOO FUUUUN.  In this shoot, the ladies employed a brilliantly colored french cookbook, a tea set, a honey bear, eggs, an apron, mini paper lanterns, some desserts… ok they went crazy with props.  And I love them all the more for it – just look at the results!!!  BUT you don’t need ALL of this to make your e-session stand out, I promise.  Even just one or two props, if carefully chosen, can a perfectly pretty e-session make.  No antique stores nearby?  I’d advise checking out your local Anthropologie.  A bit more pricey, but hey, it’s your engagement… which means it’s worth it, OBVIOUSLY.  Plus, they almost always have a nice gathering of odds and ends in their sale section.  For example, last time I went they had this huge wicker basket of totally random and totally rad door knobs.  An inspiration shoot stylist’s dream.

Final thought on the matter: it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the ladies of Simply Bloom taking your pictures.  ;)

Want to see the rest?  That’s a stupid question.  Click here to go straight to the Simply Bloom blog for more!

Photos: Simply Bloom Photography

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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:


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}

* * *

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:

* * *

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?)

* * *


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.

* * *

Let them eat button cake.

{via Love and Lavender}

* * *

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.


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