“THE NEW MONOGAMY” | Wonder What Your Partner Is Thinking? | Also, “The New Wedding Cake!”

Update from the Editor (that’s me!)…

This post has garnered a lot of attention, as one might expect.  It’s quite a digression from what I typically post (well, save for the cuppie-cake aspect).  However, as we plan one of the most exciting and personal days of our lives, we can’t allow ourselves to ignore one very important thing.  How do we – as a couple – define our relationship?  It’s likely the most critical conversation to have with your significant other… whether or not you think you know how s/he feels.

The concept of monogamy is one that affects each and every one of us on a highly personal level, and the very thought that its traditional definition is being threatened can shake us to our cores.  Your comments on the topic have been so deeply thought out and so incredibly serious that I decided to give this post another day of life above the fold.  Let’s keep the conversation going…

* * *

Ok, so yesterday I randomly came upon quite the blog-worthy item.  It has little to do with wedding planning, but it has everything to do with love and relationships, which is of equal importance… some might even say greater importance.  Let’s begin.

{Continue reading…}

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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{@}gmail.com – 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.

Adore.


-♡-

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{@}gmail.com -  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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WEDDING SHOE LOVE ❦ A trip to Bloomies ends in Badgley Mischka + a sex-friendly bed!

Stuart Weitzman “Marimbow” Satin Mid Heel Pumps $298.00

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

* * *

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

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

Badgley Mischka “Elia” Pumps $200.00

Giuseppe Zanotti High Heel Studded Gladiator Sandals $790.00

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

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

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

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

Badgley Mischka “Xavier” Rosette Platform Sandals  $190.00

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

Corso Como “Simone” Wedge Ankle Strap Sandals $155.00

Badgley Mischka “Xoa” Jeweled High Heel Sandals $200.00

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo!

Alison

P.S. – Let me know your favorite(s)!

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♡ WEDDING 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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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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*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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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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THE SOUND OF LOVE | Pogo | “Go Out and Love Someone”

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WEDDING FAVORS LOVE | colorful, lovely, fabulous favor inspiration | All Hail Rebecca Thuss

I have admired Rebecca Thuss from afar for quite a long stretch now.  When it comes to swoon-worthy, she is, in my estimation, a genius.  Upon a visit to Rebecca’s site, one finds this menu:

Now, I can speak only for myself, but you might agree with me when I say that this short, sweet list of Portfolio items is kind of paralyzing in a way, with its array of tantalizing topics, each one more enticing than the last.  Where to start?!

This frozen moment can be compared to that brief moment when your beloved has just proposed, and you are, for a second, dumbfounded, with an acute case of shock, delight and this is the biggest decision of my life but I need to make it in the shortest period of time manifesting all at once on your face.  Or maybe that’s a bit extreme of a comparison.  But whatev.  No matter, as this period of reaction is short-lived, in both cases.  What takes over – back to Rebecca Thuss now – is an unparalleled excitement coupled with a furious exploration of every nook and cranny held within those carefully and cleanly titled categories.

Listed among her many enviable capabilities are Prop & Set Styling, Wedding Design, Event Design and Crafting…

Wow.  Every one of those skills is something I think most of us would be pleased as punch to do for a living ourselves.

Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes, filled with ticky tacky…

These two, above and below, bring back thoughts of this oldie but goodie DIY project.

Want your wedding to be floral-focused?  Then these little pink favor boxes could be the perfect finishing touch on your big day.  And, speaking of flower power, these gowns will fit that theme, not to mention your shape, expertly.

I adore the favor boxes below; they offer a fun, rustic feel, and the images affixed to the box tops – each one different from the last – are filled with warm colors and tones.  Plus, I’m lovin’ the twine and tags, of course.  Attention to detail is always admired and appreciated… and if you have the time and desire to do it, I wholeheartedly champion the effort (and I’d love to attend your wedding, as well!).

Cherries!  Little scalloped edged bags of transparent vellum, filled with (what I consider to be delicious) deep red cherries.  So simple, so pretty… it’s perfect for the quick and easy favor, but still quite upscale and dignified.

{ Images: Rebecca Thuss }

Feeling inspired?  Stay tuned for more posts about other terrific ideas and sources for making your own, or at least semi-homemade, wedding favors.  There are so many out there, it’s kind of unreal, and definitely overwhelming.  But, as always, my goal is to track down the best of the best, or invent on my own when I feel like getting crafty.

For now, here are a couple of handpicked resources where you can find yourself some of your very own perfect favor packaging supplies…

~ The Packaging Source

~ Wedding Things (some samples: purple, orange and brown)

And always remember, have fun with it.  You’re throwing a huge party, and, besides getting married, the point of it is to have a grand ol’ time… so make sure you invite yourself!

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Part II: FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | love print + wedding photography giveaway + flourish freebies + a colorful new spin on a couple of wedding trends | So, in Short, More Wedding Goodies!

OK, let’s get started…

Here we go with more of that sweet, sweet stuff I love today!  Beginning with this abso-fab print from bubbo on Etsy…

It’s pretty freakin’ nice, wouldn’t you say?  I’m including this today not just because it’s fantabulous – which it so is – but because of what happens if you buy it.  Take it bubbo…

Bubbo: “100% of sales from Valentine’s posters + prints goes to Haiti!”

That right there, folks, is what it’s all about.

And what do we have here?  Oh, just some free flourish ornaments/designs for your very own personal use, from none other than iDiY, via veils and vows.

If you’d like to get your hands on these, just click the links to the two sites I’ve listed above, or check them out via these links, below, courtesy of iDiY.

Aridi Calligraphia Flourish 2 via Fontica

Civilite Tails via FontGirl

Ornament Scrolls & Flourishes by T. Olsson via Moorstation

I’m gushing over this next one, which is – omigosh – a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GIVEAWAY!  My sister talks to her little boy like that to get him interested in activities when she isn’t confident the interest will come about naturally.  Funny, because I’m confident about this one…

Love it!  How great are wedding photography giveaways?!!  About as great as free flourishes, I’d say, yes I would.  The photographers offering this amazing package, which I discovered via Emmaline Bride, are Andy Stenz and Jamie M. Swanson.  Thank you, Andy and Jamie.  You are stupendous and on behalf of brides everywhere, I extend my deepest appreciation for doing something so wonderful.

Oh, speaking of wedding photography earlier… here’s today’s uber-cute collection, which I found here, within the my heaven on Earth, flickr.

How great is that?  The bride is seriously pulling off that stunner of a dress, and you know I’m a sucker for a good dessert table.  Oh, and by the way, it looks like that mustache trend is here to stay, brides and grooms.  Feel free to get on board!  So, while we’ve got a bunch of trends going on, that lime green, canary yellow and baby soft bluish-green is so crazy beautiful and unique, it makes the whole thing look quite fresh and new.  That color scheme is mega-inspiring!

Also found this photographic beauty there, which I’ve seen a million times in every magazine I own and have been meaning to scan, myself, for I don’t even know how long.  So glad I found it on flickr!  It’s just so intense!  Love it.

Let’s end with some wedding dessert options.  Yeah, that’s the stuff.

{Source of yummy dessert photos}

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Part I: FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | save the date freebies + smiles + scrabble | Happiness Lies Within

Alright everyone, here we go.  I’m practically hyperventilating over these finds, today.  Go get a brown paper bag in case you begin to experience some shallow breathing…

The Wedding Chicks have outdone themselves with this find right here.  They’ve brought us one of the most beautiful wedding paper templates I’ve eva seen.  Eva.  It’s beautiful, it’s got that oh-so-popular vintage look we’re all after these days… it’s EPIC… and, best of all, it’s a freebie.

Hello, Photo Save the Date Calendar Cards freebie.  So nice to meet you on this fine day.  I have been hoping you’d arrive one day.  You’re everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’d like to share you with all of my friends and family…

Not only are you beautiful… you’re customizable, too!  Seriously, you need to stop it – you’re spoiling us.  (Don’t stop – I didn’t mean it.)

I am absolutely, positively swooning over these Save the Date Templates.  THANK YOU, Wedding Chicks!!!

It was this last sample of the template in action that led me to that superfantabulous freebie (freeby?) discovery above…

The couple in that picture share a love for a certain board game…

… ditto for the FH and me.  I admit to thinking, on occasion, about how to infuse a little bit of the game we both enjoy so much into the wedding.  But everything I’ve brainstormed has been too Scrabble-y for my taste.  Enter: the engagement photo session of Julia and George, by Bend the light photography.  What did they do?  They broke out a game of Scrabble for the shoot!  So simple – I can’t believe I didn’t think of this!

Wedding Chicks

Next up, I’ve got something that really makes me happy.  Whenever I’m perusing the latest wedding photos put up by all of my favorite photographers, I search for one specific thing the most, above all.

The perfect beaming smile shot:

Can’t you just see the happiness pouring out of their mouths?

THIS IS ADORABLE.

Thank you for these day brighteners, Amelia Lyon.

Today is just overflowing with finds, people.  I LOVE what’s coming next, and, well, I can say with confidence that you will, too. Check in later for Part II of the Finds…

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ETSY SPOTLIGHT | sigmosaics, part deux: pastel perfection + valentine’s day picks | How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways…

I love it when I randomly take a look at one of the many lovely shops I’ve “Favorited” on Etsy, and find – always to my surprise, for some reason – new and outstanding product ready for purchase.  Say it with me, folks – new product.  Ahh, just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it.  In a hard consonant kind of way.

Well, this was my experience when I paid a visit to my “Favorite Sellers” page recently, clicked on my old friend Sigmosaics AND SAW THESE:

 

 

 

(I know what you’re saying – but no, those are not the same eggs from Friday’s Fab Finds… they are, in fact, smaller mini eggs, and in summer hues.  No I’m not joking, they’re different.  Scout’s honor.)

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Does breakfast in bed sound like the perfect way to spend your Valentine’s Day?  Then ask him to buy you one of these – but make sure he knows that you’d like it filled with food before he presents it to you.  Remember, men don’t read minds!  (Thank God.)

 

 

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How about some heart-shaped creations?  I’d feel pretty lucky to receive one of these little works of art mid-February…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, here are two additional reasons why I have mad love (do the kids still say that?) for Kerrin, the creative force behind Sigmosaics:

1. 10% of the listing price of nearly all the items I’ve displayed above (save for the mini mosaic eggs) will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

And, as if that wasn’t enough…

2. An excerpt from her bio: 

“Sigmosaics is how I became known amongst my customers in Portugal coupled with the fact it is also the name of my website … therefore I decided to also use this name for my Etsy shop. My children provided the inspiration for the ‘Sig’ part … it’s their initials!”

I’m a sucker for rolling in your kids’ initials when naming your business.  That’s just a certain kind of special, and it’s the kind that I love.

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TYPOGRAPHY LOVE | uniquely crafted caps by jessica hische | I Bet You’re Going to LOVE Your Initials After You Read This

I

.

LOVE TYPOGRAPHY.  Now, I know I say “I love” about a lot of things – but with Typography, I mean it.

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If Typography had been a character on Saved by the Bell, it would have been Zack Morris (I realize it would make more sense as Jessie Spano, but… c’mon).  And, if asked to stay on the cast as the show inevitably transitioned into Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Typography would have respectfully bowed out, because that would have been a bad career move.  A real step down for Typography.

Especially since there are so many opportunities for Typography.  It doesn’t need Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

For example, check out its starring role in the brilliant – and may I add, quite funny – Jessica Hische‘s Daily Drop Cap.  She creates the most stunning designs with the letters in our alphabet.  Here are some of my favorites (but hardly all of them; I strongly suggest visiting her site for the full experience):

And her super creative “Q,” which is quite possibly my favorite of the bunch…

How AMAZING are these letters?  Here we have one of the illustrative letter sets she displays on her site – which, again, I highly recommend you visit…

I have so much fun with pretty letters; here I spelled out two of my favorite words:

and

Jessica Hische, you are fabulous.

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Love it and want more of it?  Check out this post for another small dose of Typography Love…

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

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

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

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

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

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part 2 | Still Staring | a tush God took a few more minutes to sculpt + other eye candy you secretly want to own and/or touch…

I thought I liked my butt until I saw yours, Miss.  I hope you don’t mind me staring a bit.  I don’t think you do, since you’ve made it the photographic focal point.  So I’m going to keep my eyes fixed, as well as send a little shout out to Chris Nicholls for gifting the world with your assets.

Pretty, pretty pink pastel stationery, anyone?  Martha Stewart to the rescue…

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By the way, here’s a Fab Friday Tip I remembered I wanted to tell you:
When you finalize your guest list, assign each address a unique number.  Write it lightly but legibly on the back of your response cards before mailing them.  This way, if Mr. and Mrs. Friendorfoe forget to write their names on the card, or Mr. Friendorfoe’s handwriting is atrocious, you’ll still know who’s responding.  Problem solved.

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Speaking of wedding correspondence, I scanned these two pages out of my Speedball Textbook to show you.  This right here is a great reference tool for writing out your guests’ addresses.  Click on the image and print it for easy reference, if you’re diy’ing it, like me.

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Speaking of writing/typography… I love visiting Briar Press for their awesome Cuts & Caps, many of which are totally free.  And that – say it with me – is a wonderful thing.  This one here costs money, but it’s my favorite “A” so it gets featured.

Speaking of fonts (yeah, I’m gonna keep going with this free association), I found this meticulous masterpiece by Danish artist Peter Callesen, via paper tastebuds.

I still don’t believe that that, right there, is possible.

You must visit his site.  Seriously.  No, seriously, because I need some opinions on whether this is physically possible.  Please weigh in.

And Peter, if you see, this… HOW do you DO THIS, my friend?!?!!  Is this learned, or innate?  I think I love you and would like to be your artist-world-partner, assuming you aren’t already tied down, or anything.  (?)  Our marriage would be based on your talent, not a bond of love, since I haven’t met you.  But that seems to be enough for a lot of people, so whaddya say?

Here’s more of your work, whilst you decide.

That looks like real bones!

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part 1 | Etsy Bitsy Favorites | hey… psst… I stare at you sometimes

Occasionally, I’ll go to my Favorites page on Etsy, just to take a lingering look at what I’ve accumulated.

For example, I favorited Etsy shop owner sarahparrott825, because she has the most precious thing going.  She calls it, “Press & Post,” which she describes as “a monthly delivery of one letterpress card complete with a kraft envelope & vintage postage stamps for those who love to write & send beautiful notes.”

What an absolutely, positively splendid idea.  And who doesn’t like pristine vintage postage?

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Gathering Etsy Favorites is one of my many labors of love.

I’m the saver in the family, so it’s not about parking things to pick them up later… though I certainly do Paypal it up every now and then.  (My credit card bill alternates between Whole Foods, Etsy, rent and Chipotle.)   I have a few reasons for picking Favorites… sometimes I feel like I need something, sometimes I find something inspiring, but most of the time I feel like having the opportunity to easily access and stare at something for whatever length of time pleases me.  To infinity.

Or ’til it makes its way to the blog.  A totally legit reason to hoard loveliness, no?

Time to share.

~ An origami paper crane, by Shadan.  I’ve had this one on the list for awhile, for two very specific reasons:

1. Origami cranes are my thing.  (Shout out, childhood.)
2. It’s just a paper crane – a beautiful paper crane, but a crane, nonetheless – however, somehow Shadan’s crazy skillz transform the scene it into a topographic landscape, complete with mountainous lanterns, what seem like jellybean lowlands, and I think there’s a kid in the back. (And that’s either a huge white diaper entombing his bottom half, or a sunbeam splashing off of an unknown in the foreground.  Votes?)

By the way, here’s Shadan‘s dandy Etsy bio:

“I’m a vegetarian,recently-married,closeted reality-show loving,friendly,artistic girl who would just like to turn my hobby of making things into a full-time career before I poke my own eye out with my pencil at my current 9-5 cubicle job.”

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~ A set of favorites from Sigmosaics, comin’ at us all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand <– why I love the internet.  I’m digging the “lip” of orange that rises just above the external mosaic.

More of my favorite mosaic work from Sigmosaics:

~ Last up, lovely paper goods from humunuku.

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RANDOM PRETTY THINGS | absolutely nothing to do with weddings | Ribbons & Bear Coasters!

I think it’s really just the vibrant colors that got me with this one.  I realize it’s only ribbon.  Folded mini bundles of ribbon.  But look at them… aren’t they sort of glorious?  Maybe it’s just me…

And I want these coasters BADLY.  I have a healthy chunk of German heritage flowing through my very visible German veins, and… well, I can’t really reveal to you yet the other reason.  But it has to do with the red bear print… though I guess that IS obvious.  What else could it be?  :)

Look at that punim.  So cute!!!

This was a more self-indulgent post than usual.  I do like to self-indulge, but maybe this one was kind of REALLY self-indulgent.  Thoughts?

I’ll give you mine: it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to!  =D

Yeah… soooo… I’ll be back soon with something much more relevant.

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WEDDING PRINTABLES | freebies + downloads | My Work is a Label of Love

I’m absolutely gushing over today’s post, you guys.  First of all, it’s got printable freebies, and they’re labels.  Eek!  Second of all, the pictures, ooohhhh the pictures.

These labels from Eat Drink Chic, which I found via ‘IDo’-it-yourself, would be totally perfect for a really vintage, unique, hyper-stylish wedding.  And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the description of one seriously hip affair.  Go download these free labels immediately if you can relate to that description, or if you just like the labels and want to do something neat with them.

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These two gorgeous printable label freebies came from the creative noggin’ of one of my favorite bloggers, Miss B of The Blah Blah Blog. Stunning design, and fantastic color combos, I might add.  Of course, I’m a sucker for red type and brown kraft paper.  Throw in a little soft bluish-green and I’m your lapdog.

{lil prettie mailing label}

{pen pal envelope wrap}

Visit her post on this loveliness to get the low down on the dl.  I love a good stream of consciousness rundown on a free download.  Miss B = a daily breath of fresh, female air.

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Here, we have a spectacular freebie I think you’re gonna love, courtesy of The Wedding Style Guide Magazine, and found via the ever-inspiring ‘IDo’-it-yourself.

Those tags are crazy beautiful, are they not?

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Next up, we’ve got these super fab labels I found on Melissa Van Hoose’s blog, A Very Chocolate Wedding.  Just perfect for those of you who would like to skip the whole writing out the addresses business that some of us spend days, err, weeks perfecting.  (Work in progress, friends.  You’ll see; I’m, uhh, pretty sure it’ll be worth it.)

Cute, right?  Go download the pdf of your choice here.

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Now last, but certainly not least, we have a set of darling printable bookplates created by Zee, a talented photographer who maintains a blog entitled, Hey, Zee!

If you’re considering books for favors, I think attaching these would be just about the most precious thing.  Get them here.

I am in lust with this woman; her photography is beyond… absolutely beyond.  And her prose are, I think – and I’m just taking a guess here – more captivating than she may realize.

In one of her posts, she writes, “The most important when editing my photos is that I only please my own eyes… I feel happy and confident about them. They make me smile. So, that is important. No one else must love them as much as I do.”

Well, if I may respond, Zee: in your efforts to please and stay true to yourself, I am confident that you have delighted the masses.

Following your heart; always smart.

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