On Happiness | Approximately 22 Ways to Help Happiness Thrive in Your Relationship.

Sometimes, and this may come as a shock if you don’t know the everyday Alison, but sometimes, I just don’t really feel all that inspired.

In fact it took me all the way until evening – 11pm, east coast time – to feel good enough about what I had written to actually have it go live on the blog.  That’s what an Inspiration Block is called, I’m now recognizing.  (And I mostly blame the jack hammering.*)

{Continue reading…}

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CHARMING SOUTHERN GLAM WEDDING | Also, Holy Bloggista, Batman! | Photography by Courtney Dellafiora

oh. my. balls.  {Continue reading…}

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BECOME A KNOTTY BLOGGISTA! | + Ice creamy wedding inspiration, & a tiny little pacifying Bachelorette recap. Also, cupcake shop fights are happening. Thanks, The Sun!

Happy late afternoon, lovers!  The bloggista announcement is a couple of paragraphs down in this post, if you wanna rush to it.

First… a mini recap of ABC’s The Bachelorette, stay with me, because I know a lot of people were upset with me for following through on a promise I made to myself not to blog about that stupid s**t anymore.  Enjoy!

You guys.  I’m still shedding preppy, emotionally-stunted, highly intellectual tears for Ames, the latest manboy safely to escape The Bachelorette’s tiny dancer.

Ames was my fave, if you didn’t know already.  I loved how he’d always offer a witty remark, mention useless trivia, and just in general not act out his true sexual preferences in life.  He was a special guy who I was sad to see go.  Still; his departure was equal parts heart-string-pulling and totally-necessary…

Ashley made the right decision; no one wants to date a man who makes you feel like you need to take up membership at a yacht club and read the Washington Post before he wakes up in the morning just so you can have a conversation.  Remember how I mentioned I dated a guy just like Ames?  The pressure to be smart all the time was suffocating.  My jokes always fell flat, and all you really have is jokes when you’re me and you’re the only non-ivy-league brain in a group of people who start nonprofit organizations for fun, and talk about things that make you extremely conscious of the fact that you weren’t listening your entire way through high school.

Final note, the blooper reel when Ashley acted as a waitress and served that old man some pizza?  Totally fell in love with her over that blooper reel.  She’s funny and charming.  WHAT?!!!

Unfortunately, this week’s show had to end with Ashley calling her sister a total bitch to her FACE, so I’ll be tuning in next week.

We’ve been heading towards this step for a while now, and hinting about it for months on end ( I know, sorry) so this morning’s a tad exciting because we officially announced the damned thing on Le Twit.  High kicks all around!  Ok, here we go: much to the delight of family and friends who miss us and want to hear our voices more often and see our faces and how they’ve changed – and, we hope, much to the delight of all of you (!!!) – we’ve decided to add some Knotty Bloggers to the mix here on TKB.  WOOO!

So, if you’d like to be considered for bloggistaship [← COINED! i think], let us know of your interest either in the comments or via our Contact page.  FYI: we’re accepting real planning brides and bloggers/writers who are just aching to write about and feature totally awesome weddings, or just have great stories and advice to share with our lovely soon-to-be-wed readers (we’re open to ideas if you have your own).  So, if you have an affectionate, playful relationship with writing, and/or just have some seriously interesting stories to share, get the eff in touch.  Also, not required, but if you have Photoshop and/or write a blog, totally let us know that, too.  Sweet, thanks.

Oh, and one last thing about this – we blog about weddings and all things related here on TKB, obvs., but you’re gonna wanna be cool with contributing to a blog whose managing editor relates stories such as:

Take last night… Honey texts me a pic of the remaining bits and bone of a gorgeous steak he was working on during a business meeting.  He gets home, I’m in the shower can’t see him or what he’s holding.  He says, “I have a present for you babe!”  Still thinking about the half-eaten hunk of steak, I yell, “ohhh, is it your bone?”  These are true stories people.

So… if you’re down with that then by all means get in touch.

Alrighty new topic here we go.

Things are heating up quite a bit this summer, to the point where people are starting fights in cupcake shops in my neighborhood.  TRUE STORY.  (Spoiler Alert: cupcake shop fights are hilarious.)  Here’s how it all started.  We were heading to the market, when I noticed a Crumbs shop across the street.  I said, “oh hey Honey, look there’s a Crumbs shop across the str-” I turned to look at him during the word “street” and I realized I was standing in a swirl of – and figuratively eating – his dust.  He was already half-way across the avenue mid-sentence-about-cupcakes.  So next thing we know, we’re in the cupcake shop and some guy who was the physical embodiment of what you would imagine your *wits-end* looking like, actually starts to pick a fight with the cupcakarista (is what I’m calling it) inside of this cupcake shop – this happy, sugary, wonderful uplifting place – and of course it was unbearably hilarious.  ‘Cause I mean what are you doing starting a fight in a cupcake shop.  It’s the happiest place on Earth.  Anyway here’s how it went down: the cupper asked the guy “how can I help you, sir?” and the guy went – and I quote – “I don’t know just tell me what you want me to do already I don’t care anymore IT’S HOT.”

LOL.  Oh, and OBVIOUSLY I said something.  You know me by now.  My exact words – because I can’t help but jump in on rare, fleeting moments of pure human hilarity – were “let’s simma downnah” a la that SNL skit (I’m totally dating myself with this reference) when they were turning the words “Simmer down” into (or from?) “Summer, Donna” … anyone remember that skit?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Anyways, clearly Summertime is INTENSE, and cupcakes are evidently not the relief we once thought them to be.  So today’s feature should serve to cool everyone’s jets a bit… at least I hope!  It cooled mine, specifically this part of it:

Ahhhhhh yes.  And here’s the write-up from Andi Mans, the woman behind this delightfulness…

This fuchsia woodsy wedding inspiration was something I got an idea to bring the feeling of camping but also keeping it feminine at the same time. Owls are so trendy these days, they seem to be everywhere and add a bit of a retro and unique flare to the “woodsy” feel. Brides who are looking to mix their love for pink but also want a rustic and vintage feel to their wedding can get that feeling of ambiance in this shoot we can offer. Cake topper found at a thrift store, Mason Jars, floral patterns and gold accents add rich texture and color to help keep the Woodsy feel with a chic and fancy flare.

Enjoy, darlings!

And now, for an enlightening, albeit brief, Day in the Life of Bambo McPup:

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when a frenchie poots, well, I’m, uhhhh, I’m here to bring that to you.

↑ As you can see from the squinting in left photo, and the UTTER SHOCK & AWE on the right, these are the EXACT MOMENTS OF RELEASE.

Split-second puppy flailing is responsible for the toy rearrangement, sticklers.

OK SO!  Let’s talk about anything I’ve discussed here today.  BWAAAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHH!!!!

xoxo!  – Alison

Style and Staging Design: Andi Mans Photography and Design / Photography: Andi Mans Photography and Design

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WHITE + MINT + LAVENDER | Whimsical Wedding Inspiration, FORM OF: Streamers, ribbons, bunting, treats, bottles & pointelle lace. Also, THINGS JUST GOT REAL.

First off, LOL.  I originally wrote “Steamers” instead of “Streamers” in the title.  GLAD I CAUGHT THAT BEFORE PUBLISHING TODAY.

Anywho, afternoon, lovelies!  What is it, like 3:30 EST?  Yeah, you’ll get why in a sec.  Ok, so I just gotta tell you that we’ve got relatively amazeballs things happening sooner and later this month, such as but not limited to: a fanFREAKINGtastic Sarah Seven giveaway (yes, that’s correct, ANOTHER giveaway from Sarah Seven, no big whoop), a photo shoot giveaway comin’ atcha in like A DAY, and lots and lots of real weddings that all tend to make my heart beat the way it did when I was in college and I had a lifesize poster of Dave Matthews above my bed.  Try to remember that Dave Matthews was appealing several years ago.  Not the today Dave Matthews.  Just, yeah, think back.  Who’s with me?  Don’t hate; appreciate. {Continue reading…}

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ICE CREAM + PUPPIES + SNEAK PEEKS | A completely non-wedding-related post, for giggles and tickles and weekends, oh my!

↑ I’m dying.  No, wait – no, I’m already dead.  Yup. {Continue reading…}

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METALLIC GOLD NEON CHIC + FAMILY ISSUES SERIES | The *Only Way* to Rock a Hot Pink, Gold, Mint, Cream Wedding. Also, McPuppyPants… and I’m a little in shock.

Like WHOA.  You guys, I’m sitting in my chair, with Bambino wanting ups, me ignoring his repeated requests for ups, and Bambino releasing aggressive fart bombs immediately beneath me in retribution.  Why am I unable to enjoy his sweet, adorable overtures?  Because I’m still in awe over what just happened.  And that’s saying A LOT, because his sweet overtures look a-something a-like a-this: {Continue reading…}

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VINTAGE WEDDING INSPIRATION ON A BUDGET | Once Upon a Wedding Shoot + Tips by Candice Benjamin

I’ve been so excited to share this shoot with you guys.  You don’t even know.  When Candice submitted it, I sort of leapt (a word?) out of my chair and spasmed a bit in a fit of glee (contrary to what you may be thinking, it wasn’t pretty). {Continue reading…}

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RUSTIC WEDDING IDEAS | Anthropologie centerpiece mugs | Those details you wanted from my Style Me Pretty guest post! (+ my MacBook Pro review)

Hmm.  My titles are getting too long.

Ok, so, as many of you know, I recently purchased a hella expensive, hella worth it MacBook Pro.  Yup, all 17″ of it – worth it.  Except for one thing.  {Continue reading…}

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LIGHT UP YOUR WEDDING | Creative ways to decorate your setting with light…

I came down to get some coffee, but before I could open the door, my three-year-old nephew swung it out in my direction.  He looked me dead in the eye, held out a closed fist, and then opened it to release a single doggy bone puzzle piece… which fell at my feet.  No words were expressed.  He then retreated behind the door from whence he came.

Do you think he’s trying to tell me something?

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I love light.  And I adore finding unique and gorgeous ways to bring it into my life.  {Continue reading…}

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VIVIENNE WESTWOOD | {Lady Dragon Heart} | The ultimate wedding shoe for the ultimate wedding photos…

Some of you might remember me tweeting about some special pictures I was going to acquire this weekend.  {Continue reading…}

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WEDDING COLOR INSPIRATION {shake it like a polaroid picture} COLOR ~ Lemon Yellow

{Love it.}

Ok, my 6-year-old niece just did the cutest thing, and so that means another blog post for you guys, today.  Wheeee!  Ok, here’s what she said: {Continue reading…}

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I LOVE BEAUTIFUL THINGS … {especially after the morning I’ve had} … Which is Why I {Heart} Elizabeth Messina

Happy Thursday, my friends.  I just escorted a HUGE bug to the other side of the street, and it was disgusting.  Though my 6-year-old niece and 3-year old nephew seem to think it’s “cooooooool” which I get, but my niece in particular kept calling it “pretty.”  Pretty?  It was an inch and a half (for serious) and it had two sets of mouth talons, because I guess it needs a backup set of mouth talons if the first set of mouth talons somehow fail him in his taloning pursuits.  (Makes me seriously wonder what I must look like to her, since she likes to call me pretty, too.)  Anyway, I needed some color lovin’ to try and forget about this morning’s experience.  This did the trick:

{Photo Board: Elizabeth Messina}

{Chewing the Cud / Xandra Zamora / Monkeys Always Look / Twigs & Honey / Icing Designs / Modern Press}

Thoughts?  Is this inspiring or is this inspiring?  Elizabeth Messina makes my heart pump more blood throughout my body, and at a faster pace, which simulates the feeling of being in love with her.  I’m feeling very confused, but I kinda like it.

xoxo!  - Alison

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

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

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

And now for some serious detail action:

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

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

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

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


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


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

(… Uh-oh…)

* * *

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

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

* * *

Ok, here’s the money shot!

WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

* * *

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

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


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

* * *

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


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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

Ok, on to the main event…

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

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

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DIY WEDDING MADE EASY | free designs for your diy desires | My Favorite Picks! (Plus a crazy update regarding the site & GoDaddy servers…)

Ok, before I get into what the above is all about, I just wanna say that I really hope everyone had themselves super enjoyable/rewarding/relaxing Memorial Day weekends!  For the most part, the weather ’round here was ridiculously gorgeous, and it seemed pretty hard not to have a good time, regardless of what we were doing.  In fact, just stepping outside made my day.  Though playing a little tennis and getting half my body into a pool certainly didn’t hurt matters.  What does that mean?  That means that I was faced with frigid pool waters, and I was the only one – among numerous children – who could not get my body to dip past the belly button point.  What I had always believed to be the most difficult body part to submerge, the “undercarriage,” was already safely tucked beneath the icy surf.  But the water remained intolerable.  Mind you, six-year-olds with arm floaties were all around me, having a collective ball.  And I’m sure none of them quite understood or cared about what I was going through.  I seriously hung there, perched with my ass beneath the water line.  Oh, the shame.  (For the record, it was really, really cold.)

But I did push the fiancé in the pool about five times.  That was awesome.  Mainly because I always waited until his body had warmed sufficiently to make the cold water startling again.  Good times!!  (;

Anyway, y’all know how much I love Martha Stewart, right?  Well, it’s almost as much as I love southern dialects.  But seriously, I cherish Martha Stewart Weddings for all the DIY goodies and inspiration the resource always has to offer.  So I decided to sort through it all and I’ve collected a hefty bunch of my favorites for your consideration.  I hope you love!

* * *

So, you see those jam jars up top?  Ok, well I am OBSESSED with their lid labels.  Completely obsessed.  Jam jars are such a popular idea for weddings these days, and these labels are my current favorite way to top them!  Get the clip art here!


Totally in lust with this idea.  Make your girls their very own lace clutches!  How gorgeous are these?  Not to mention crazy simple to create – all there is to do is print the clip art onto heat-transfer paper, then just iron the designs onto fabric!  Get the clip art here!


I seriously covet these monogram labels; they’re just perfect for your favor boxes, and whatever else you’d like to monogram!  :)  Get the clip art here!


I absolutely adore these place card designs and highly recommend them for your wedding.  They’re really quite elegant, and all you need to do is print them on preperforated card stock.  Done and done!  Get the clip art here!


How much do these lil cupcake flags rock?!!  Get the clip art here!


Also loving these miniature gift bag prints!  Get the clip art here!


How about creating your own uniquely designed cookie tins with Martha’s download-and-print doily labels?  I know – so cute.  They come in red, blue, and green, too.  Get the clip art here!


I am in love with the beauty of these custom Blueprint wrapping papers!!!  I think they’d look amazing as part of your decor.  There are five in all, and only Martha has them.  Pretty rad.  Get them here!


Last but not least, there’s this too adorable cookie gift sleeve label.  You have a whole bunch of different label options, for pretty much any occasion (for a wedding, go with “for you to enjoy“).  All you’ll need besides the clip art are CD envelopes and adhesive paper.  Get the clip art here!

So, what do you think?  Do any of these catch your eye as a fabulous DIY?  I’m curious what you guys think!

xoxo!  -Alison

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By the way, check out some of my favorite posts from the recent past:

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After at least a month of server error messages, random admin logouts and a constantly spotty at best site connection, GoDaddy FINALLY admitted yesterday that it’s their servers, and not anything we’re doing wrong.  This, after being told upwards of 40 times that it’s something we’re doing wrong.  I kid you not.  Upwards of 40 times.  Finally, after much anguish and through-the-night-every-night-troubleshooting on our part, downloading and restoring databases, uninstalling, installing and reconfiguring plugins, tears (yeah, I cried a lot, I’ll admit it), GoDaddy revealed yesterday that “certain servers are not functioning properly.”  That my site “is on the list of affected sites.”  That they’ve “got their best guys on the job.”  Progress thus far?  “Umm, well we haven’t solved it yet.”  When will it be solved – ballpark?  “We can’t seem to pinpoint the problem, because, you see, we aren’t seeing the error messages that everyone else is seeing outside of our network.  So we’re having trouble figuring out why the servers are malfunctioning… but we’re hard at work on it.”  Can you do something, like migrate me to a new server that isn’t shitty?  “No, nope, we can’t do that.  Sorry.”  Really?  “Yeah, sorry.  That’s not something we can do.”  Oh.

Can you stand it?

I can’t anymore.  So I’m letting the world know, after too many sleepless nights and lost traffic.

GoDaddy is dishonest and chooses to blame the customer for its own failures.  The people on the front lines have been as kind as possible, but their supervisors have perpetuated a cover-up, and are hardly if at all concerned with customer satisfaction.

That’s all for now.  Just thought I should spread the word at this point, since I am now aware that this is a widespread problem, and that GoDaddy is not making efforts to alert anyone affected.

Lastly, THANK YOU to everyone who contacted me to see what was wrong with the site and where it disappears to at random times throughout the day.  I can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated your concern.  Thanks so much for caring!  At least we finally have the knowledge that weren’t doing anything wrong this whole entire time.  But it certainly doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

I’ll be providing updates, mostly on twitter, regarding GoDaddy’s behavior and how things progress as far as how we decide to proceed from here.  I hope there aren’t too many of you experiencing these same issues!  It’s traumatizing, truly.

‘Til later!

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Via Intimate Weddings


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

Project created by Amy Moss of Eat Drink Chic


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

Photo: Laura Ivanova


And now for something extremely weird

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


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


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

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


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


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

A Macaron Wedding Suite!

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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DIY WEDDING TO END ALL DIYS | Featured on: Style Me Pretty | Styling: Sitting in a Tree | Photos: Sarah Yates

I have to show you this, because it is a reason to live… if you look for reasons to live in your wedding blogs.  I hinted at its furious awesomeness in last week’s FFF, but it bears repeating and expanding.

The wedding of Junia and Andres, photographed by the amazing Sarah Yates, was featured on Style Me Pretty by Erin Lepperd of Erin Ever After, a very prolific partner in guest blogging crime over on SMP (not to mention, one of my favorite blogger broads)… and it is the end.  The end, my friend.  The end of any sadness, any inspiration drought you may be having, the end of suffering, the end of you doing any more work at your 9-5.  You’re done.  Because you’re going to stare at THIS for the remainder of your day.

Note: my Mom practically begged me to let her buy me those succulent candles on a trip to Crate & Barrel.  I didn’t let her because I didn’t have a need for them and because I’m crazy.  Aren’t they precious?

How much do you LOVE Erin for blogging that freaking phenomenal wedding?!!  A bushel?  A peck?  A hug around the neck?  I love her a barrel and an effing HEAP.  Thank you, Erin, for bringing me enough inspiration to last me through the weekend.  The wedding of Junia and Andres will be in my dreams – both the day and the night kinds.

* * *

Credits, courtesy of SMP:

Photography: Sarah Yates / Venue: The Woods Clubhouse, Chula Vista / Event Design and Coordination: Sitting in a Tree / Invitations and all paper goods: Andres Montano / Catering: MIHO Gastrotruck / Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara / Shoes: BCBG / Veil: made from tulle cut from dress during alterations / Groom’s Suit:  J.Crew / Tie: Band of Outsiders / Groom’s Shoes: Ben Sherman

↙ Update: it’s up!!!

By the way, you totally have to check out the rad-ass Portland, Oregon wedding feature I have going up on SMP today.  No, seriously.  No.  SERIOUSLY.  When it’s up (I’ll update this post), check it out, and then GO TO THE GALLERY.  It is sick.

xoxo!!!  -Alison

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

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

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

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

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

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Here’s a recommendation: buy these ruffled heels ↓

Wild Diva Sailor 02 Black Satin All Ruffled Up Heel


Miss Me Footwear Diva 14 Black Satin Zip Ruffle Heel

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

Two for Gelato Dress


Sammy Dress from BB Dakota by Jack

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

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

Esmé satin platform sandals


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

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

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

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

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

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Silk taffeta Clementine dress

Silk chiffon Taryn dress

Silk taffeta Lorelei dress

Cotton cady Madeleine dress


Pearl and silk wrapped necklace – natural

More jewelry…

MORE jewelry!!!

Another shoe (!!!)…

This one’s the Nicolette strappy heel

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

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xoxo!  -Alison

Ooh, I almost forgot! Two things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Center Stage Dress in Champagne

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

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

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

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


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

On the other hand, this:

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ruffles and frays flower belt in smokey gray $13.99

ruffles and frays flower belt in rosey pink ~ $13.99

symmetrically pleased belt in pure ivory white ~ $19.99

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

Sure Lock Dress ~ $128

Camilla Dress ~ $138

Do you love, or do you love?

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

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



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