DESTINATION WEDDINGS | 5 of My Favorite Knockout Wedding Venues for an Intimate Beach Wedding

I don’t know about you but I’m a HUGE FAN of a little thing called the destination wedding, for so many reasons.  Usually it involves a location that has sand and warm water nearby.  Usually it means you don’t have to invite as many people as your mom and in-laws would like you to invite.  And usually it means backdrops that will make your pictures more mind-blowing than you ever could have imagined in your wildest dreams.

A destination wedding is my personal favorite type of wedding, mainly because I haven’t had a vacation in way too long and I want anyone reading this to have one and invite me.  Just kidding, not really.  But anyway – today I’m sharing five intimate destination wedding locations that are so eye-poppingly gorgeous they’ll make your eyes bleed (in a good way) (ok I don’t think eyes bleeding can ever be a good thing but YOU GET ME).

(Quick note: you can check out a ton of intimate wedding setups over at right now, if you’d rather just get on with it.  They let you browse resorts by inspiration categories!)

El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Maroma Beach is where it’s at.  If you don’t trust me just ask the Travel Channel, which ranked it one of the top ten best in the world.  For your wedding it’s quite perfect because it’s got these super unique thatched huts (read: palapas) where you can have a wonderfully intimate beach ceremony that everyone you know will likely want to replicate the moment they get engaged.  Only reason to avoid this location is if you don’t want to deal with jealousy and copycat weddings in your family. :)

Did I mention the suites at this resort have SWIM-UP ACCESS and a little something called INFINITY POOLS???  I believe I’ve sold you on this location, moving along…


Gran Caribe Real – Cancun, Mexico

Tell me, do floor to ceiling windows offering unobstructed views of the Mexican Caribbean appeal to you, when you imagine your wedding ceremony?  Then you’ll love the “Our Lady of Guadalupe” Oceanfront Catholic Chapel.  Obviously this spot is right on point for the couple seeking a lovely religious ceremony.  The religious among us deserve a gorgeous setting (and backdrop for photos) on their wedding day, and that can be hard to find for this set.  That’s why I love this location.


Isla Mujeres Palace – Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres Palace is for you if what you desire is a small and private occasion.  It’s not touristy here; there’s a really amazing small town vibe going on and many of the beaches are untouched.  Who doesn’t LOVE THAT?

I’d like to note that the setup at Isla Mujeres Palace was literally made for your intimate beach wedding – it was custom built for just these types of occasions – and the pictures you’ll get, exchanging vows under a gauzy canopy pocketed by palm trees, will be the kinds of pictures you return to again and again for years to come.  You guys know how I feel – pictures are everything.  (Aside from the love you share of course.)


Couples Tower Isle – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

First of all, Jamaica.  Second of all, WE’RE TALKING JAMAICA, PEOPLE.  But I’ll try to be more specific about why I think you should have your wedding there – privacy.  If privacy is important to you as a couple, then you should very seriously consider this location for your wedding.  You and your honey can wed on the property’s secluded island – and it can be as private as just the two of you, or you can throw in some close friends/relatives.  One thing I can tell you for sure is I’ve never heard a couple complain that they regretted having a really private wedding.  So there’s some food for thought.


Dreams Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

So I can’t say enough good things about Los Cabos, that’s the honest truth.  I was there recently and my goodness the weather was perfection. <== this is very important to me, and usually determines my like/dislike for a place.  So there’s that.

Los Cabos is pretty well known for things like its celebrity crowd, its breathtaking mountain views and its killer spas.  But what I’d like to make you more aware of is its truly lovely gazebo beach garden setup – the thing is so perfect for an intimate sunset ceremony, you guys.  I cannot recommend it enough.



What do you think of the concept of a destination wedding?  Any of you had one, or are planning to have one?  Lemme hear your thoughts :)


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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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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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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.



P.S. – Let me know your favorite(s)!

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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 BOARD LOVE ♡ Crystal’s “Summertime Fun” on Style Me Pretty!

In lust with this cheery board created by Crystal Cook, a Style Circle member on Style Me Pretty.  The balloons were what caught my eye, but I stuck around for the desserts, mini pinwheels and general Summertime appeal!  Seriously, how lovely is this?!!

The weather here in NY today is fanfreakintastic.  I made sure to take a long walk outside and oh me oh my, HOW SWEET IT IS.  Get outside if you live in the metropolitan area, or wherever else the sun is shining warm and bright.  It feels like Summer out there!!

It’s supposed to be this gorgeous out tomorrow, too, and then things are expected to come to a screeching halt by Thursday.  Which is fabulous.

Go.  Frolic or something.  It’s Summertime in April… for a second.

Summertime Fun

A few faves of mine:

Jen Huang Photography

Agnes Lopez Photography

Jose Villa Photography

Credit: Crystal Cook // Style Me Pretty

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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.


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



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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{ DESSERT + FAVOR LOVE } Vintage Design Cake Boxes, Cupcake Wrappers and Cones!

Morning, everyone!  Just yesterday, I received in the mail my beloved Cox & Cox catalog.  As per usual, it’s filled to the brim with the most delightful details one could ask for in a wedding and, as per usual, it’s got me all hot and bothered.  Peculiar how pretty little tchotchkes can do that to a girl.  Anyway, gotta share some of the new swag to be had (plus a few oldies for good measure):

Vintage Design Cake Boxes – NEW!

Rose Cupcake Wrappers – NEW!

Vintage Design Cones – NEW!

Cupcake Stand – NOT NEW, BUT STILL!

Organza Favor Bags – NOT NEW AS WELL!

(Like these?  Well, using StazOn ink and other materials similar to those in this post on DIY Wedding Eye Candy, I created the CUTEST stamped bags to house some chocolate lollipops I made for Christmas last year.  I wish I had a picture of them to show you!  They were too cute, if I do say so myself.  It’s really so easy – I highly recommend making them yourself!)


Credit: Cox & Cox

Here’s a fun little aside: when I right-clicked on the word “tchotchkes” (top of post) just to check if I spelled it correctly, the dictionary offered up these suggestions:

  1. latchkeys
  2. hopscotches
  3. crotchless and
  4. hotcakes

Weird to the max.  My dictionary is advising me to write crotchless.  Anyway.


If you liked this, you’ll probably love DIY Edible Escort Table Numbers, and you may get a sugar high out of this.

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♡ WEDDING PARTY ♡ Second Installment ♡ ………..VERA WANG RUNWAY SHOW………..

Remember this sneak peek?  Of course you do – I haven’t experienced so much positive feedback since transitioning out of diapers.

Now, for this post, I’m gonna do something CRAZY.  And that’s cut the small talk.  Because this series of posts speaks volumes, and I don’t feel like shouting to share the stage.  ;) However, before we begin, here’s a quick word to the wise:

Bigger is always better…

So click on each photo if you want to feel like you were there with me.

Alright, without further adieu, I present to you… Vera.

Breathtaking, right?  When this show began, I remember becoming consumed by what was strutting immediately before me.  Unable to keep it inside, I turned to a friend seated next to me to whisper how I felt… “A sense of calm has washed over me.  I feel like I’m lazing in a spa, or floating on a thick cloud.  This is INTOXICATING.”

… Oh, and by the way, we are SO not done.

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No, I Love YOU Much.

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

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

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

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

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


{ Photos taken by Matt Miller }

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TOP FIVE TIPS FOR GREAT WEDDING HAIR | What You Must Know to Look Your Best on Your Big Day… No, SERIOUSLY.

All the time, as I walk the streets of New York, Westchester and the Island of Long, I see girls who look absolutely stunning in their everyday lives.  Many sport low ponies, others rock side-swept bangs.  They look great; their chosen styles suit them.  And, as a people watcher, I love good style.  It’s a treat for me.

But, come the wedding day, something changes for some brides.  It happens to so many of these normally stylishly coiffed contessas, something that I can describe only as a tragic disconnect between their naturally on point senses of style, and what they believe looks even better in the context of their wedding day.  Curls when they normally rock it straight, or a tight updo when they typically let if flow free.  Too often, my internal dialogue sounds something like this: “Shoot, you looked so good yesterday in your go-to high pony, why did you think pin curls were the right style for your big day?”  I just don’t get it!  This phenomenon I can’t fully explain.  It baffles me – though I do have some ideas.

I understand the desire for change, for something fresh, different, new… and, thus, presumptively more beautiful.  But it’s not every time that the latter follows the former.  And when I see it happen, a few signals go off in my head that lead me to some probable assumptions about what precipitated the mess up top.

I don’t want this to happen to any more brides.  I can’t in good conscience allow it.  I’ve spoken to too many brides who have expressed regret over their ‘day-of-do’ to let it go on any longer.

… So, I’ve created a quick reference list of the best advice I can offer when it comes to your wedding day locks.  SERIOUSLY, pay attention, I do this out of love…

5 Top Tips for Great Wedding Day Hair:

~ Consider how you wear your hair normally.  Is this somewhat chic, and would you consider it appropriate for a formal event?  Then maybe it’s the perfect look and you shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

~ Ask trusted friends and family.  Some- no, many people will lie to you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.  Which can lead to hair fails.  And this is not the time for a hair fail.

~ Don’t be led by your stylist.  It doesn’t matter if the person doing your hair likes it; it matters if YOU like it.  Ok?  So be true to yourself.

~ It’s easier to be true to yourself when you plan ahead, as in arrange for a consultation/trial so you can actually take a mental (and actual) picture of what you can expect to look like.  This will also let you know if you and your chosen stylist are on the same page when it comes to the definition of looking good.

~ Always keep this in mind: he’s already proposed to you, which means he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and you’ve looked the way you look now, all along.  You must look at least half-way decent already.


For inspiration, I have included within this post a veritable Smörgåsbord of hair styles I consider to be wedding-appropriate.  (Save for that very first one; that’s just for laughs… OF COURSE.)  Please hover over the images for their details and credits, which have been assigned where available.  Images without detailed information are courtesy of Polyvore.

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WEDDING INSPIRATION, IN THE ROUND | ~ balloons and bubblegum ~ | Perfect Ways to Make Your Pictures POP!

We all want our weddings to be great, and this can mean many things to many people.  It all depends on who you ask.  It can mean keeping with tradition.  It can mean standing out from the rest.  It can mean showing our personalities, and our uniqueness, both as individuals and as a couple.  However, regardless of how it’s defined, one thing’s for sure – we all want that extra special thing, whatever it may be, so that everyone who has come to celebrate this momentous occasion in our lives will remember it always, as our wedding.

So, how about balloons? :) Hehe.

Mansion from Tim Walker, via Santa Barbara Wedding Chic

Overexposed via Oh Happy Day

Photos by Jill Thomas, via Once Wed

Photos by Jessica Johnston

Photos by Caroline Tran, via The Knot

Photo by Max Wanger

By the way, remember this post?  Truly one of the more awesome balloon shoots I’ve had the pleasure of seeing…

Totally worth a look-see.

Ok, so clearly those are engagement shots – and while brilliant shots, they aren’t weddings.  So here’s an actual wedding with the balloon idea implemented.  I LOVE how the crisp, white spheres line both sides of the aisle, adding such incredible structure to the photos.  There’s an intensity here, with the focus so clearly on the marrying couple… and it’s very much a result of the double row of balloons, which serve to guide your eyes towards the center.  It’s clean, it’s powerful, and it’s beautiful.

Sticking with the white wedding theme, howsabout this…

Via Style Me Pretty

Via B Magazine

Here are a few more of my favorite engagement shots.  Don’t you love the creativity of these couples?  A prop like this can really ease out the playfulness that is so essential with engagement shoots.  The Bubblicious is your call.  If you teach for a living, I imagine it’s not for you.  (In fact, if you’re anything like the teachers I had in grade school, you’re probably aching for these girls to trash the chewing gum posthaste.)

Though, I must say, these two young ladies pull it off quite nicely…

Photos by SimplyBloom Photography, via Green Wedding Shoes

Photos by Jill Thomas, via Green Wedding Shoes


One last thing: I caught wind of The Cherry Blossom Girl on a visit to decor8 one day, and found this precious little balloon brooch, by Stolen Thunder.  If you really love balloons – like, REALLY – but don’t know if they fit in all that smoothly with the rest of your decor, well then here’s a darling way to show your affection for the them.  If it’s not the right fit for your look that day, then it could be the perfect bridesmaids’ gift, no?  I admit, I think it’s just too cute not to make up an excuse to buy a few of ‘em.  So that’s kind of what I’m doing right now. :)

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DESSERT TABLE INSPIRATION | look what I sniffed out! | This is Not Your Mother’s Viennese Table…

On a visit to Chic Florals & Events, while scrolling down the page I suddenly caught sight of something I knew I had seen before, elsewhere.  I remember totally loving it but, of course, whenever that first time was, I had been distracted by some other bit of loveliness elsewhere, and left it behind.  Well, thankfully I stumbled upon it once again, and no way is it getting left in my dust this time.  It’s just too pretty, too chic, and too great an idea to risk forgetting about all over again.

How sharp does that look?  There’s something so incredibly exquisite about this idea… and while I can’t speak for all dessert cheese tables, I’ll risk it and say that if you set up a smartly chosen arrangement of low-stink factor milky delights, and label those suckers in such a way as has been done here by the amazing Maybelle Imasa-stukuls, I’d say you’ve got a guaranteed hit on your hands.  And why’s that?

… Because people LOVE CHEESE.  And the only thing people love more than cheese is cheese spread across a slice of baguette.

Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers styled and snapped this loveliness for a guest blog post on The Bride’s Guide with Darcy Miller, Martha Stewart’s wedding blog.

The objective, in Karen’s words: “we decided to create a dessert cheese table—very much in the French fashion—using a rustic chic look for décor, staying within the given color palette of cream and white.”

By the way, adding comb honey to the tablescape is a magnificent idea, if you ask me.  Not only is it easy on the eyes (who hasn’t stared at that captivating little jar of tightly packed honeycomb, just waiting for a good reason to buy it?), but spread on bread or paired with a strong cheese, it’s one heck of a treat for the palate.  Your guests will LOVE it!


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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS + VALENTINE’S DAY INSPIRED GOODNESS | ladies in red | Engagement Sessions with Love Tones…

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday (!!!) and if it’s chilly in your neck of the woods, you might find yourself challenged in the cute outfit department.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Just throw on a simple red scarf like Katie did in her engagement session with Marianne Taylor of Marianne Taylor Photography, and watch your entire look go from ho-hum to va va voom!

But then again, maybe the chill factor isn’t as much of an issue for you.  If that’s the case, then I envy you, but more importantly I have the most beautiful engagement session to share with you, which I discovered – where else – on the always inspiring Style Me Pretty.  The stunning photography is by lunaphoto, and while it may be a little too nippy out there, even in Cali, how could I NOT bring this loveliness to your eyes…

Photo credits:

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ENGAGEMENT + VINTAGE WEDDING INSPIRATION | simplybloom photography | Miniature Golf, Maximum Color {followed by} Details, Details, Details…

Meet Phillip and Rachel…

Now, say hello to Vania and Christine, of SimplyBloom Photography

Those two young ladies above are responsible for the photographic heaven that follows…

This engagement session features Rachel and Phillip, a lovely couple who quite possibly have two of the most photogenic faces I’ve ever seen.  What do you think?

But it isn’t their shared cuteness that inspires me when I look at these photos… it’s all about the radiant color.  His faded red trousers, her bright yellow sundress… and I absolutely ADORE the choice to gather up that rainbow of golf balls for the intimate close-up shot.  Magnifique!   Who knew there was so much photographic beauty to be captured, on a miniature golf course.  Leave it to pros like Vania and Christine to figure that one out.

Shot after shot, I’m struck by the simple beauty of these photos.  Rachel and Phillip look like they’re genuinely having fun.  And that’s how it should be!  I just love it when it’s obvious.  I can’t get over the idyllic green scenery and how it mixes with their bubblegum threads.

Check out my favorites – a dance on the course…

And a sweet little moment too lovely for words.

Check out the rest of this shoot here.

{ Photo credit: SimplyBloom Photography }


By the way, this is the perfect time to show you some of my favorite shots from an absolutely darling inspiration session styled and shot by Vania and Christine.  I saw this soft, sweet loveliness on a visit to 100 Layer Cake, and have been meaning to show these pics some daylight.  I seriously couldn’t wait to show them to you!  The vintage feel of this shoot gets me so excited about all the little details that can go into your tablescapes alone!  And take a close look at that bouquet… according to 100 Layer Cake, it’s made of door knobs and drawer pulls from Anthropologie!  No shocker there, just another fine reason to love that store (as if I needed more reasons).  Details like these are what make my heart sing.

{ Photos: SimplyBloom Photography, via 100 Layer Cake }

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*VALENTINE’S DAY INSPIRED GOODNESS* { D1, P1 } | DIY projects ♥ tutorials ♥ freebies ♥ treats for a blissful and beautiful ‘love day’

As announced on Twitter, we’re doing a Countdown to Valentine’s Day Tour, right here within the confines of this bloggity blog blog.  So, less a tour, per se, more a countdown to Valentine’s Day.  But all the same to you, right?  What?  Just get to the project?  Oh… oh okay.  Here you go…

So, I am madly in love with this little V-Day inspired project from Molly of The Purl Bee!

Valentine’s Day approaches, and I don’t have to tell you which flower is practically synonymous with that holiday.  So, what could be better than rose barrettes?  They’re pretty adorable, and I think they’d be quite a chic addition to any little kiddo’s otherwise drab V-Day ensemble.  You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.  (Even if you don’t think you are, you will be, trust me.  My sister’s little girl wears THE CUTEST OUTFITS ON EARTH, and my sister – hey, Jen! – is and has always been the polar opposite of what one would call a “girlie girl.”  Go figure.

When I have a little girl, she’ll be wearing felt barrettes that I made with my bare hands and she’ll LIKE IT.

So, here’s what you’ll need for this project, as advised by Molly:

-One Wool Felt Bundle in Spice
-Embroidery Thread to match the felt
-8 snap clip barrettes, available at most drug stores, or online here
-One Rose Barrette Pattern available for free download (on her site), printed and cut out

Molly gives you a step by step tutorial over at The Purl Bee ~ be sure to check it out so you can get crackin’ on these cuties!

I can totally see one of these barrettes atop the precious little noggin of a flower girl.  Or even an arrangement of four or five in a row, creating a kind of homemade head wreath!  Oooohh that would be too cute for words.  I would LOVE to see a picture of that in action!

I totally have those clips, you probably do, too.  Everybody had those growing up!

I’d love to see how these turn out, my darling readers.  If you decide to try your hand at this project, you MUST send a shot to theknottybride {@} gmail {dot} com!

Alright, more Valentine’s Day inspired goodness to come!

{ Project and photos by Molly, of The Purl Bee }

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JUST PEACHY | wedding photos ripe with color + inspiration ~ in the key of peach | This is Kind of My Perfect Wedding Palette!

My fiancé loves peaches.  Really, really loves them.  Not alone, oddly, but inside of things.  Like, inside of my peach and blueberry pie, for instance.  I don’t blame him… the pie is delicious.  I would go on about the pie and how much he loves it, but I risk getting mired in an unsavory realm of double entendre here, so I’ll just leave it at that.

When I came across these photos within the post Peach Wedding Ideas on Once Wed, I was struck by two pretty wonderful things.

The first was that my fiancé loves peaches (in his own weird way but still…) and the second, well the second was that I LOVE THESE COLORS.

A girl (like me) constantly dreams of developing or discovering the perfect theme or idea that meets two very important criteria: loveliness, and a reflection of our likes and personalities.

Jackpot?  Wedding theme chosen?  We’ll see.  I do ADORE the florals, and dig the idea of somehow bringing peaches into the mix, since I’m all about infusing natural elements into a wedding.  So I’m definitely a fan of what’s going on here.

Alas, I am fickle.  I’m really quite the indecisive young lady, with far too much inspiration at and oozing out of my fingertips.  (Eww.)  So I’ll just keep on looking, and keep on bringing it back here.  Because, you know what?  I love being overwhelmed.  Yeah, I THRIVE on the feeling.

Jeez Louise, look at this CAKE.  It. Is. PERFECT.  Kind of reminds me of this cake, from one of my favorite weddings EVA.

~ Details, courtesy of Once Wed ~

Photography Simply Bloom

Flowers Amy Osaba

Art Direction/Styling Joy Thigpen

Cake Topper Dolci Odille

Cake Chocolate Pink Cafe

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS { Part III } | California dreaming | Wedding Cakes, Wedding Kisses & the Chance to Win a Dream Photo Session!

I leave you, on a chilly Friday in New York, with this…

The cake, by My Sweet & Saucy is made of buttercream, and is topped off with luscious, fresh raspberries.

{ Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang }


This next set of photos have a certain special thing in common, that is, aside from being taken in California.  Each of them… well, can you guess?

These amazing engagement shots, taken on the beach in Santa Monica, are by California photographer Caroline Tran, and they are treasures.

I’m not much of a fan of the “all kissing, all the time” engagement shoots.  They can easily turn into too much of a good thing; the beauty of such intimacy can be lost with repetition.  But that’s not what’s happened here.

It’s subtle.  It’s soft.  It’s not in your face.  It’s totally beautiful.

I must add, too, that I’m a big fan of a color – or in this case, shade – coordinated couple.  Because two really poorly matched outfits can seriously ruin an entire shoot.

Oh, and by the way… how about a chance to win your own dream shoot?

One lucky couple – engaged or married, either one – will win this amazing session.  It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be photographed by Caroline Tran and stylized by Green Wedding Shoes!

Hurry!  Submissions are due by this Sunday, January 31.

{ Photo Credit: Caroline Tran Photography }

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS { Part II } | California on my mind | Sarah Yates Photography: Engagement & Wedding Photos with That California Glow + More Edible Goodness…

I adore nearly all things California, I think it’s obvious by now.  (A failing economy, fires and one movie star governor are behind the “nearly.”)  With so many awe-inspiring bits of photographic beauty emerging from the oblong state on the western edge of our country, it’s hard not to fall deeply and hopelessly in love with its warm sunny glow.  And what Sarah Yates produces is no exception…

Like Monique is one of the Queens of Comedy, Sarah Yates is – in my humble opinion, one of the Queens of Engagement & Wedding Photography.  And  her attractive and endearing subjects don’t hurt, either.  This brings me to another thing I love about California.  (Resisting the urge to write “Cali” at every turn here, people.  It’s rough going.)

I cherish people who wear color.  They are the few, the fiery, the walking embodiment of joy.  Wearing color can brighten your day, and it can have that same effect on those around you.  I always feel a special something different when I wear color, and whatever that is, it feels good, every time.  So, if you’re up to it, I suggest adding a splash of color to your typical look if you don’t already… it’s fun, and that’s what life’s about, please don’t forget that!


By the way, remember Cannelle Et Vanille from earlier?  Here are a handful of other reasons I love her…

Pear, Raspberry and Ginger Pies:

Pumpkin and Hazelnut Doughnuts and a Clafoutis:

Sweet Potato, Yogurt and Hazelnut Cupcakes:

Churros with Spiced Chocolate Bisque:


Coming up next: even more Fabulous Friday Finds!

{ Photo credit: 1-6, Sarah Yates Photography; 7-14, Cannelle Et Vanille }

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WEDDING PHOTO LOVE | real wedding ~ CA { Part II } | Steve and Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding by Sarah Yates

The Backyard LA Wedding of Steve and Kelly, photographed by Sarah Yates, continued…

I know.  This wedding is the definition of dreamy.  If you were to look up “dreamy” in the dictionary… you know the rest.

Kelly’s whole bridal look… her hair, her makeup, her gown… all of it, perfection…

Absolutely breathtaking.  A contender for the cover of a high society romance novel.

Doesn’t she look like one of the happiest brides around?  Surrounded by her maids, she shines.  Though, that tends to happen with pea soup green bridesmaids dresses.  Still, Kelly’s beauty is unparalleled.


Click to view Steve + Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding { Part I }


Once again:

The vendors, courtesy of Once Wed:

Photography: Sarah Yates Photography

Coordinator and Florist: La Partie Events

Catering: The Food Matters

Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals

Cake and Desserts: Joslyn’s Bakery

DJ: B-Boy Productions, Inc.

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WEDDING PHOTO LOVE | real wedding ~ CA { Part I } | Steve and Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding by Sarah Yates

On a visit to A Cup of Joe, I discovered a path to one of the prettiest weddings currently floating around in the ether, and featured on Once Wed.  Sarah Yates, the amazing photographer tasked with capturing this wedding – whose out-of-this-world talent makes my jaw drop repeatedly with every additional wedding she posts – features these stunning shots on her blog, Sarah Yates Photography.  If you’d like to see more, you can go directly to Steve and Kelly’s wedding.  Now, for the little bit of loveliness I’ve plucked…

These photographs of a couple in love are among my favorite this month.  Their bond, the natural surroundings, everything is beaming the warm glow of happiness.

How darling is this one of the couple sitting close together in the lower left corner of the image.  That red boutonnière makes the shot, doesn’t it?  A pinch of color can go so far.

I am in lust with the colors of this wedding.  The decor is unbelievable.  And those CENTERPIECES!  I am floored by the lovely and loud floral arrangements contained in those vases.  The colors, the choices of flowers, the overall shape, the simplicity.  I adore the work done here.


Coming up: Steve + Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding { Part II }


Vendors, courtesy of Once Wed:

Photography: Sarah Yates Photography

Coordinator and Florist: La Partie Events

Catering: The Food Matters

Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals

Cake and Desserts: Joslyn’s Bakery

DJ: B-Boy Productions, Inc.

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