FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | July 2 | A Mini Wedding Dress, DIY Wedding Invites, Cake Flags, Succulent Love, a White Cake with a Red Heart Center…

Happy Friday, everybody!  How’s it goin’ m’friends?

You guys.  You know that MacBook Pro I bought expressly for the purpose of working outside and moving about in the world?  Well guess what?  I wrote this post on my iMac.  Sitting at my desk.  Staring at people who were outside on their MacBook Pros.  Yep.  And my MackBook Pro?  It was sitting in its box, with its 17″ screen, and its 10 hours of battery life.  Just sitting there, its only wish to melt my thighs with its scalding base.  (Those motherboards get far-too-hot-far-too-fast… for serious.  After an hour, I feel like I’ve been through one of those cellulite smoothing sessions you see on Dr. 90210 or that Tyra Banks show.  But, unfortunately, I don’t need cellulite smoothing on the fronts of my thighs, so lose-lose.)  Anywho!  I don’t regret my purchase whatsoever.  I LOVE MY MACBOOK PRO, like everyone else.  By the way, yes, I went crazy and got the 17 incher, as you’ve likely noted.  It’s like carrying around a small, overweight child.  I could seesaw with this thing, and I think the weight distribution would be evenly matched.  It’s kind of crazy.  When I look at my MacBook Pro, I laugh, because it is so freaking BIG.  It’s HUUUUUGE.  It’s a laptop, but truly, looks are deceiving.  I’m going to start working out so I can carry it around with me.  Ok, on to the Fab Finds!!!  (:   {Continue reading…}

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FOURTH OF JULY | wedding and event inspiration | You asked for it…

Aaaaaand…  I’m back!  Did you miss me?  (:

{Photos: Stephanie Williams}

First things first: let me extend the heartiest of hearty thank yous to my lovely guest bloggers for taking the reigns in such unique and fabulous ways.  I’m forever grateful for your amazing contributions over the last few days!  Superb jobs done by all!  And thanks for showing your love and support, my dear readers!  I’m so glad you enjoyed their posts!

Now, I won’t lie; the time we got to spend away from all the hoopla this weekend was supa fly – supa dupa fly – and very much needed…  {Continue reading…}

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | JUNE 25 | I Need These Dresses, Perfect Wedding Heels, Free Printable Save the Daves, Lingerie, Badgley Mischka, a Mod Wedding, Music, & Next Week!

↑ Love, right?  Deets to follow ↑

Happy Friday, my good friends!  I hope you’re havin’ a good one so far.  Me?  Well, this week was three parts hella-busy and one part I-had-no-free-time, but also one part I-fell-in-love-with-a-new-site called “Stereomood.”  If you loooove music but you haaaaate a) having to arrange mixes that’ll fit your mood and b) having to wade through the muck only to hit your skip limit on Pandora too soon, then you’re gonna love this find.  (It’s that favorite one I mentioned yesterday.  This thing is on like all the time for me.  I lovingly refer to it as my life soundtrack.  Btw, currently obsessing over the “it’s raining” playlist.)

In other news, I’m just psyched beyond all recognition to show you the Finds I have for you today.  But first, quick recap: as most of you know, I’m going to be away for the better part of next week (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here).   {Continue reading…}

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ATTENTION KNOTTY READERS: It Begins… { guest bloggers, proposal stories update + summer dress picks! }

Lynx & Leo Dress

A bunch of HUGE things are going on over the next week or two.  I shall itemize them now.

(… But I shall also pepper in my hottest dress picks for summer, because who doesn’t love that?  A good read (if I do say so myself) + the cutest dresses ever = a great blog post, in my estimation.)  Ok, DRESS PIC TIME!

Jackie Paper Dress

-♡-

Item #1:

Your proposal stories are b for bananas.  I really don’t know how else to describe them.  They are just making my YEAR right now.  They are so awesome that I need to pursue a column in a wedding or style magazine where I can feature them regularly because that’s how much they rule.  And guess what?  Set your watches (my 6th grade mathlete buddies) because the series is set to start in a couple of weeks.  I know you guys are dying to see them up in lights and believe me, I am dying to bring them to your neck faces.  DRESS PIC!  … {Continue reading…}

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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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*Submit your proposal story!*

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


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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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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | June 18 | bouquets, DIY ruffle shirts + cakes + plant centerpieces, ring shots, bridesmaid clutches + vote!

Happy Friday, everybody!  Ok, let me just get something out of the way real quick.  May I ask a hugetastic favor?  If you think I deserve it, please take a sec to let ‘em know over at the Wedding Channel that The Knotty Bride is one of your favorite Real Bride Blogs.  (The more votes, the better chance I have of winning!)  If you don’t mind, of course.  Pretty please?  You would make my year!  Thank you like crazy!  (If you do enter me and you feel like letting me know, go for it and, of course, I’m totally writing you back and thanking you to the high heavens.  My gratefulness knows no bounds.)

* * *

Love that, right?  Me too.  It’s one of the Finds, today.  (:

Ok, let’s get going!

First off, this kind of rules.  I think it’d be such a fun little project to do at your tame bachelorette party.  Personally, if it’s strip club vs. ruffle shirt projects, I think I’ll opt for the ruffle shirt every time.  {Continue reading…}

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Now… Check. Out. This. Cake spread.

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

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

Seriously.

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

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

A few words from Kate Harrison:

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

Sorry, science cookies, coming right up:

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

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

More on that loveliness in a few…

PROPOSAL STORY SUBMISSIONS

(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!!!)

* * *

MARKETING & FIANCÉS

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:

THINGS WITH WHICH I’M OBSESSED, PART DEUX

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

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

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

And now for some serious detail action:

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

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

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | June 11 | Part III ~ diy succulent boutonniere!

This, right here, rocks my effing socks off.  (Does it make me uncool that a succulent boutonniere rocks my socks off?)  Regardless, it’s got to be my favorite idea for a boutonniere in AGES.  I’ve seen so many boutonnieres (I will never get used to spelling that out) and I rarely like them all that much.  Just being honest.  But this one has got it going on: it’s simple, it’s green, and it’s a succulent.  I am obseeeeeessssssssed with succulents.  And, last but not least, it’s yet another crafty and creative reason why I lurve Maddy over at Inspired Bride.

Fab Find Number 4 comin’ right up!  Just wait ’til you see THIS…

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

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

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

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

(… Uh-oh…)

* * *

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

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

* * *

Ok, here’s the money shot!


WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

Ok, on to the main event…

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

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

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

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

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

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

{Continue reading…}

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

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

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And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…


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

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

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

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

Thoughts?

Credit: Open Air Photography by Katie Stoops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photography: SimplyBloom
Found via Bridal Snob

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

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

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

BARF!

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

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

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

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

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

{Photos by Paige Newton Photography via Love and Lavender}

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

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I. LOVE. THIS.

The Kissing Tree

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

… whose long-term girlfriend lives in Holland.

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

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

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

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Let them eat button cake.


{via Love and Lavender}

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

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

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

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

xoxo

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BREAKING NEWS ❦ Calling All Wedding Vendors ❦ TKB Is Now Welcoming Sponsors!

There’s been a lot of news around these parts as of late.  Here’s some more…

I am pleased to announce that The Knotty Bride is now welcoming sponsors and other forms of advertising on the blog!  TKB has grown by leaps and bounds since its relatively recent inception in October of 2009, thanks to brides, wedding professionals, event planners, fantastic fellow bloggers and men and women everywhere planning special events of their own.

Readership continues to grow exponentially… I nearly pee my pants and call my mama every time I look at the daily traffic totals.  Plus, the feedback I receive every day re: the ideas, inspiration and advice I post on TKB brings me the kind of immense, incomprehensible joy that can be likened only to that which is felt when a baby is born, or after finding out at the register that the dress you thought was on sale for $149.50 is actually on sale for $69.50, but was for some reason not marked as such!  Or some other miraculous event – you get it.

So…

If you are interested in advertising on The Knotty Bride and you offer a product or service that you think would be relevant to this audience, I’d love to hear from you.  Please email theknottybride@gmail.com (subject: “advertising”) for information.

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Thanks, I look forward to working with you!

Coming up…

Remember when I said this yesterday? –> “Having a fit over my blog post for tomorrow.  An absolute, full-out, twitching, jump up and down fit.”

That’s up next, BOYYYYEEEE.

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OMG | The Wedding Chicks Talked About Me.

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

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

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

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ❦ Starting with… drumroll… THE HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

So, I must start off with the most important piece of news today… well, it was yesterday, but whatever here’s the news:

I’m the newest guest blogger on Style Me Pretty!!!  WHAT?!  I know!  Abby does such a great job over there and I’m having an absolute blast being a part of all the wedding action to be had.  I hope you guys like my posts going forward!  Be sure to check out the first and second parts of my very first wedding feature!  That is, if giant inflatable swans at an elegant backyard wedding are the kinds of things that pique your interest.

See them?  See the swans?  Yes, they are fake.  Yes, I would have wanted to ride them, had I attended Nada and Paul’s wedding.  Seriously, how did everybody resist?

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I’m completely smitten with these fabulous – and free! – desktop wallpapers that Ruche has create for our personal use and endless enjoyment.  Aren’t they ridic?

I’m currently using this one:

And this next one is the spittin’ image of that super sweet e-session I featured recently on this here bloggity blog.  Remember?  Now you can have the same-ish background that couple had!  And, depending on the size of your computer screen/your personal height, you might be able to pose in front of it for your very own e-session!  Yeah, not so much.  But all [totally idiotic] kidding aside, I am loving these backgrounds to death!

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Totally in love with everything Leslie does over at Color Me Pretty on Decor8.  Prepare to gush:

That quaint little pot of floral yumminess brings up pleasant memories of my fave bouquets!  Leslie that is GORG.

I’ve always loved the way those candies look (below)… though I’ve never actually tried them.  I feel that I would be disappointed.  Are they any good?

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Ooooh gosh.  I love.love.love. these dresses.

Especially the beige number on Emma Roberts.

Vanity Fair via Marry You Me

Crossing my fingers someone knows and decides to email me about it.  Because I love it like I would my own child.  That much.

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Speaking of gowns, I’m also loving J.Crew’s wedding offerings… and REALLY loving the fact that they’re finally opening up an actual bridal store so that we can all go inside of it and actually TRY ON THEIR WEDDING DRESSES. Because, really, what’s the point if we can’t try them on?

And you know how much I covet their flower girl line.  Put that little lady in one of those fancy frocks, and she’ll never change out of it.

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Ok, one more thing: I saw these DIY wedding invitations here on Style Me Pretty the other day.  How. Fabulous. Are. These. Invitations.  How fabulous?  The bride designed, cut, perforated, printed and compiled all 200 of them… herself.  We should all be so committed to our goals.

Her tools: a sewing machine, paper cutter, home printer, tons of lace, ribbon for days, a crapload of pearls, and hand seals.

Bravo, Rachael.  Bravo with your bad self.

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