WEDDING OBSESSION | Rustic + Vintage + Lace + Floral + Birch Wedding Invitations & Accessories | For Love Polka Dots

rustic floral burlap kraft wedding invitations

I’m a big fan of insanely personalized weddings.  The kind where everything’s really specific to the couple’s taste, where each detail has been meticulously thought out and decided upon.  I certainly wouldn’t wanna do the work of course – I just like seeing the fruits of others’ labor.  Of course, no one really wants to do the work.  And DIY’ing that ish is paaaiiinful.  It always takes so much more money and effort and time than you anticipate.  So when you’re really into meticulously thought-out details, like I am, but you’re short on patience, it’s companies like For Love Polka Dots that REALLY come in handy. Here are just a few of my favorite things that they create:

this particular rustic wedding invitation suite

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(you can view their entire rustic selection here)

this birch bark guest book

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(their selection of wedding guest books is like UNPARALLELED)

this lovely vintage lace wedding invitation suite

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their WHOLE SELECTION of adorable baskets, pillows and shoes, including this cute shabby chic duo right here..

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The team at For Love Polka Dots is crazy talented, and wants to provide couples with something not only unique, but expertly handmade and well-crafted.  They consider their ideal client someone who’s “tired of the typical wedding printing” you so often see out there.  That pretty much describes me, and I’m thinking it describes a lot of you guys, too.  Definitely adore that they make all their invitations by hand, and are deeply concerned with the satisfaction of their clients.  Obviously that’s pretty key to a good experience and happy results.

They exist on facebook, too, if you’re looking for more inspiration!

Ok, SO – do you love this whole rustic vintage lace chic thing as much as I still do?  I really cannot get enough.  Makes me pretty excited that I haven’t even planned out my wedding yet (yes I know I’m taking FOREVER, LAY OFF).

xo,

Alison

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STATIONERY | Chalkboard, vintage, floral, you name it… when it comes to weddings, Zazzle gets it.

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Here’s the thing about Zazzle, I love it.  This may sound weird but I visit the site several times a week – it’s addictive.  There’s just so much to ogle and you can get really creative.

Did you know they have wedding stationery there?  They do.  But not just any old wedding stationery.

PRETTY stuff.

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Pretty stuff you can fully customize on the site.  In real time.

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And it’s not just stationery, oh no.  They have like EVERYTHING else you could possibly need; menus, paper napkins, seating charts, stickers!, place cards, their infamous personalized postage stamps of course, even wedding gifts if you’re not the ones getting married.  To make things even more fun, they have all this stuff organized by style.  So if you love the vintage look, they’ve got you covered.  Same goes for the modern-loving couple.  The rustic section is crazy popular right now.  I’m also loving the floral and beach themed sections.  With Zazzle you can choose from innumerable designs all created by professional designers – and all of this at unbeatable prices.  <== why I love it so much.

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Details matter, this is undeniable.  And I’m digging the details you can achieve here, people.  Their coordinated suites make for some stellar eye candy for your guests to eat up, from the moment they receive your invitation in the mail to the moment they sit down for dinner on your wedding day.  Who doesn’t love that?

Affordable and beautiful = ideal in my book.  I don’t think any of you would argue with me on that, but I could be wrong.  Fairly sure I’m not wrong though. :)

xo, Alison

Pictured: Photo Peach and Mint Wedding Typography Wedding Invitation / Sweet Floral Wedding Invitation / Vintage Floral Wedding Invitation / Chalkboard, clockwise: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

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LETTERPRESS STATIONERY + 25% OFF CODE! | Invitations By Dawn

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Here’s the thing about letterpress: I LOVE IT.

Do you guys love it, too?

Today I’m bringing you guys a special deal from one of the leading letterpress invitation makers in the industry – Invitations By Dawn – that may prove hard to resist once you comprehend how significant the discount is.  High kick, woot!

Here is one reason I like Invitations By Dawn:

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Here is another reason:

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But you probably want to hear some more specific reasons, here they are:

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But seriously folks, here’s the deal.  Invitations By Dawn has game.  They’ve been doing this whole wedding invitation thing for more than 30 years, and they get what the words stylish, chic, tasteful, fun and pretty mean, when it comes to crafting the perfect invite.  They’re also not afraid to be trendy, BUT- in the prettiest way possible.  That’s not something I can say for every invitation company that comes my way.  (And that’s why I don’t talk much about invitation companies.)  This one just has my heart.  The designs they offer are exclusive to Invitations By Dawn by the way; you won’t find them anywhere else, and they’re pretty much completely customizable.  They’re also printed on 100% cotton, heavyweight paper, making the quality ahh-mazing.

Also, NEON ANYONE?

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It is difficult to deny how fun neon-anything still is.  Just look at the invitation above and it’s easy to see why I am obsessed with this trend!

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Ok now here’s that special offer I mentioned: Invitations By Dawn is giving Knotty Bride readers 25% off your wedding invitations, with the code KNOTTY25.  YEAH!  This offer includes their premium collections, by the way, like Letterpress and Foil-Stamped (it excludes Disney Invitations, fyi).  The offer remains valid through 8/31/14, so probably hop to it if you’re interested.

Hope you dig!  Aren’t they pretty?  DEAR GOD I LOVE ME SOME LETTERPRESS.

xo, Alison



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FREE WEDDING PRINTABLE | *Editable* Save the Date Download by Kate of Ruby & Willow!

Hello lovely readers… I was so happy when Alison asked me to do a guest post here, since she really is hands down one of the funniest bloggers in town… I come here not only for inspiration but to up my daily giggle quota!!  Today I’m sharing with you a ‘hot off the press’ new release invitation design {Continue reading…}

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{#1} WEDDING FONT FAVORITES | Edition 01 | I’m quite font of the following font(s)…

Had an extensive conversation on Twitter last night (yeah I’m cool) about font families.  The conversation attracted so many that I’ve decided to start a regular column on favorite fonts… might be “of the week” or “of the month,” but will most likely be “when the mood hits me.”

{Continue reading…}

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | August 6 | OMG I LOVE THESE DRESSES, these ruffled heels are rad, here’s a free monogram crest, succulents, mason jars and my brother is going to be a gorilla for the rest of his life.


Ok, so my sweetheart and I have another salsa lesson tonight and I think it’s safe to say that we’re overconfident.  Let me explain: I don’t know who caught the finale of Bethenny Getting Married last night, but you know how {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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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

*Subscribe to weekday blog posts via RSS*

*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.  (;

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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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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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I ♥ PAPERWINK | discount code | Me? I’m in lust with their return address stamps & wedding invitation collection!

Happy Monday, everyone!

How were your weekends?  Fruitful, I hope.  We actually went horseback riding (I wrote that with my lower jaw jutting out, and in a very entitled way… don’t hate me).  It was a delight.  Except for the extreme pain my tush is experiencing at this very moment.  It hurts to sit.  So much in fact that I had a bad dream last night about having to sit in one of those plastic and metal desks we had in middle school, and having to use a little seat cushion and getting mocked by my entire seventh grade class.  Good times!  So, word to the wise: unless you have enough cushion for the pushin’, be sure to put some “chicken fillets” (you know, the ones meant for your bubbies, as NJ housewife Theresa calls them – who, by the way, I’ve heard is $11 million dollars in debt which I thought was IMPOSSIBLE but apparently isn’t) in your back pockets or something.  Did you follow that sentence?  I didn’t; I think the parenthetical tangent was too lengthy.  Add some padding to your behind if you ever go riding, is what I’m saying.

* * *

ANYWAY, today, I have something that makes me happy… so I was thinking it might make you happy, too:

It’s Darcey’s 31st birthday, so she and Tara of the incredibly fun, colorful and creative paper company, Paperwink, are giving you “31% off all online orders over $31 on Monday, June 14, 2010!*” What do you have to do?  Just enter code 31 Wishes in the special offer box when you check out.  AWEsome.

I ADORE Paperwink.  They have some of the cutest things I ever did see.  Case in point, they make the raddest return address stamps in the whole entire world.  Check them out here.  I love these rubber stampers; I imagine them being the perfect unique, elegant touch on your wedding invitations, and I just KNOW the larger designs would be magnificent stamped onto your RSVP return envelopes.  Your thoughts?

In the meantime, check out my current faves:

I kind of love this invitation:

And I’m a little obsessed with this stationery, which has absolutely nada to do with weddings:

* * *

*Fine print time: “This special can not be combined with other offers and does not apply to shipping.  Promotional code must be entered at time of purchase and can not be applied to previous purchases. Promotional code is valid for 1-time use.”

Are you loving Paperwink as much as I am?  And I’m curious; would you use one of their return address stamps for your wedding correspondence?

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

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

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

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

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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…)

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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.

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Ok, here’s the money shot!


WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

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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.

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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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RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR + LOVE LESSONS | birch bark centerpiece idea + a note on what we seek in our mates…

I’m really excited today because I get to share with you guys what I think is a seriously fab idea for your wedding centerpieces.

But I’d also like to tell a story today about computer love and how opposites attract, so let’s begin with story time, and then jump right back into today’s feature.  Ok, here we go… hope you enjoy!

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As many of you know, I own an iMac, and I make love to it on a daily basis, for upwards of ten hours.  It’s a steamy love affair; I seem to know just the right buttons to push.  And though sometimes I worry I’m maxing out his resources, all it really takes is a quick shutdown and restart for him to feel completely recharged and ready to take me on for another go.  Of course, we have our moments but, all in all, I love my iMac and, though he doesn’t talk much (save for a thunderous roar every time I turn him on), I’m pretty certain my iMac loves me.

But my iMac is a desktop.  He keeps me chained to my desk, and I don’t appreciate it.  In fact, I’ve grown to resent it.  I need to roam free, where the grass grows and the inspiration flows.  And I want to have the option to take him along with me, should the mood strike to write a post while I’m out and about.  So recently I’ve been pondering what it would be like to have a MacBook Pro.  I have a MacBook already, but he’s from my college years and way too overworked and immature to handle my needs these days.  Plus, his battery life is crap.  He’s a three minute man.

It has taken me months to get comfortable with the idea of taking on another Mac, but, in weighing my options and my needs, I’ve determined that for me and my projects to be able to grow, I must be free to move about the cabin of life.  … and blog from there.  (–Ohhh how cool am I.)

Ok, now here’s where my significant other comes into the story (and please note ~ for today, I will refer to my significant other as “Fancy Pants McGee”  or “Fancy P. McGee” – and quite possibly F.P. McGee or FPM if I get tired – from here on out, as I see fit):

So, I told Fancy P. McGee that I’d finally broken down and decided that I do need a laptop.  I had done some research (aka, clicked one button) and found that a student discount would shave MAX $150 off the retail price of the MacBook Pro I was eyeing.  Our conversation went as follows:

FPM: That’s great! What do Anthropologie dresses cost these days?  You could probably get two for $150 – you should do that with the money!

ME: First of all, no I couldn’t.  $150 would buy me ahh dress, not two, or maybe a pair of jeans at Anthro.  But as far as the comp goes, it’s gonna cost between $1k and $2K, and a student discount will save me around $150, but I’ll still be in the hole $1500.  Not coming out on top here.  No net profit.

FPM: Yeah, no I get it, babe.  What I’m saying is you’ll have saved $150, so you should treat yourself to that much in fashions (Ok, he didn’t call them fashions, I only wish he had.  Dwight from Real Housewives of ATL has been repeating “fashion show with no fashions” all day in my head, so that’s where that came from.)

ME: I should spend the saved money?  I don’t understand.  I’ll be out $1500.

FPM: You save $150 with the discount, so you’ll have $150 left over that you wouldn’t have had without the discount.

ME: OMG.  I get it now.  This is found money to you!

-♡-

This is one way in which Fancy P. and I could not be more dissimilar.  Could not.  But here’s the moral of the story: we often seek out mates with traits we wish we had more of in ourselves.  I’m a saver-to-the-max, and wish I felt comfortable parting with a little discretionary income every so often.  Kidding, I don’t have “discretionary income.”  That’s a term that entitled folk invented to feel better about buying gilded furniture and designing themed rooms in their homes instead of helping others.

But yeah, I do wish I felt a little more comfortable spending on myself every once in a while.  And that’s where Fancy Pants comes in.  I’ve tamed his ways considerably, but he’s still got that itch to spend coursing through his veins.  And sometimes, it’s not such a bad thing to let it run wild.  But only sometimes.  … like with bed purchases.  (Most of you guys know what I’m talking about; more on that in the future!)

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Ok, back to the centerpieces!

Bettula is one of the many amazing vendors I encountered at Renegade this past weekend.  With Bettula, Heather Fagan has created a line of vases (not to mention other home decor, art and even jewelry) all made from repurposed birch bark.  How cool is she and how rad is that?  And how fab does it all look?

I think these vases would work so well as centerpieces.  Place flowers or plants of your choice in vases of varying heights, and you’ve got some serious eye candy for your guests to ogle while they eat.  I adore the natural ones, but those gold numbers are incredibly flashtastic if you ask me.  Of course, you’ll want to go with what works for your color scheme.

(This girl was really into the display – like, really – so I chose not to disturb her.  It’s only when I see the photos in their full glory that I realize asking her to step away for a moment would have been the wisest choice of all.  I will remember this lesson for next time.)

Like Heather’s work?  Think you might fancy the idea of using her vases for some centerpiece action?  Go ahead and check out her Etsy shop!

So, what do you guys think?  Would you throw some flowers/candles/succulents into these babies, delicately place them on your tables and call it a day?  Are they wedding worthy in your book?  Tell me the truth; I’m really curious what you think!

xoxo!  -Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | June 4 | perfect gowns, hippie chicness, sparkle-town, DIY desserts + the coolest favors EVER

Hello and happy Friday, everybody!  How we doin’ today, eh?  Doin’ well?  I sure hope so.  The weekend is upon us, so that means fun in the sun if all goes according to plan.  Anyone have any interesting plans for the ol’ Sat-to-Sun?  Me, I kinda feel like hiking again.  You discover really cool things when you hike, like wedding venues.  Yeah, totally serious.  The boy and I plan to re-scope out this random beautiful joint upon which we stumbled while on a hike just north of the city a couple of weekends ago.  I shall report back once the verdict on its quality is in.  (:

Anywho, while we continue working out our server switcheroonie, as some of you have coined it (which I love and have now adopted), I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring some seriously fabulous finds I managed to scoop up this week.  So, here we go!

First up, a few killer details from one seriously UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE wedding, as photographed by – who else – Max Wanger, and featured on 100 Layer Cake.  Le sigh.  I shall dream about this beach wedding forever and always.  Its colors, textures and characters (of the human sort) are the stuff of inspiration shoots, not real-life weddings.  So this rocks it to the fullest.  And by the way, PERSONALIZED BEACH TOWEL FAVORS ALERT!

Bridesmaids gowns: Rachel Pally

You wanna know where they got those rad beach towels, right?  Well, their Dutch artist friend Parra designed them; the invites, too.  And here’s where they got the towels made.  You’re welcome.

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Ok, this wedding featured on Style Me Pretty straight-up-now-tell-me blew me away.  But most weddings involving horses (not pictured here) tend to blow me away, because, I mean, how did they get horses involved in their wedding?  You know?  It seems so involved.  Do these people own horses?  Do they find a horse – I dunno, farm, and shoot there so that it looks like horses attended their wedding?  Does the New York Times write, “the wedding was well-attended; also, they had horses” because you can’t ignore the horse-factor.  It’s a huge factor.  It’s the elephant at the wedding, essentially.  (Can you tell that I’m up way past my bedtime right now?  It gets crazier and crazier.)

By the way, obsessed with the bouquet.  Obsessed.  It’s sort of EXACTLY RIGHT.

Not to mention zee shoes:

Photography: Aaron Delesie

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My good friend Melissa, of The Loveliest Day, made quite a stir in her new role blogging for Ruffled with one seriously sparkle-rific wedding dress… and not to mention super hunky groom.  Super.  Hunky.  (Massive congrats, Melissa!  Sooo freaking awesome.)  Here’s a lil taste of the fabulosity that awaits you.

Credits, courtesy of Ruffled:

Ceremony Venue: University of Western Australia / Reception Venue: Table 78 Restaurant / Photographer: Anna Rose Photography / Bride’s Dress: Rachel Gilbert / Bridesmaids Dresses: Gown Gallery / Flowers: Code Bloom / Cake: Choux Cafe / Celebrant: Jenny Carkeek / Rentals: Perth Outdoor Ceremonies

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Coveting the incredibly laid-back but terrifically chic style of this bang-sporting bride.  And just LOOK at that sassy feather statement necklace she’s got on!!  Does it NOT fit perfectly with that gown?  J’adore.  Plus, you guys know how much I love a good bang!  Hair, we’re talking hair.  (… But I like the other kind, too, obvs.)

Photography: Laura Heffington / Oregon Beach Wedding featured on OnceWed, who discovered it on Frolic

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DIY dessert time!  Comin’ atcha face: How ’bout a cupcake in a jar?

The steps involved make me so want to do this project.

I don’t know about you, but for me, a red velvet cupcake + a mason jar = the cutest, tastiest thing possible.  I am loving this as wedding favors, especially with the spoons tied to the jars with – my favorite – baker’s twine!  Most of you know I have a love affair with the stuff.  (Yes, it’s under control now.)  I found this awesomeness over on With This Ring, and she found it, plus instructions on cakies blog!

Here’s the supplies list, courtesy of cakies, if you’re interested in trying your hand at these babies:

- round stickers (I did have to cut them down a bit to make it fit the top)

Pay a visit to cakies for the red velvet recipe!

Ooh, one more thing… you see the chic young lady at the tippy top of this post?  Well, her name’s Andi, and she has a blog.  On that blog, she posted the musical stylings of the fabulous Diane Birch, and I just seriously have to share this with all of you, if you haven’t already heard of her.  Because she’s a whole lotta wonderful.


Ok, I get that these are some pretty REDONK finds I’ve got here today.  They may in fact be so fabulous that deciding on a favorite is super way hard.  But whatev who cares – I really wanna know so I’m still asking.  (:

So, do tell: which of these is/are most inspiring to YOU?  Lemme know.  I can’t wait to hear!!!

(Hope you have a terrific weekend!)

xoxo!  -Alison

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EXCITING NEWS! | Well, for us anyway…

Hi everyone!  Ok, so I have some exciting news today… We’re switching hosting providers!  WOOHOO!  Ok, that may not sound all that exciting to you, but for us, it means the end of a long, loooooong road of issues (slow loading; server error msgs; etc.) that were only recently revealed to be entirely the fault of our previous hosting provider, ShmoShmaddy.*

*Names have been changed to protect offending parties.

Anyway, it’s quite possible that there will be some downtime today while we migrate from one server to another much better, more reliable one, but I didn’t want to leave you with nothing to ogle at… that just wouldn’t be right.  So, below are images linking to my guest posts over on Style Me Pretty, if you’re interested in a little inspiration right about now.  Click on the pics to be taken to the weddings!  (Hope you enjoy!)

(Scroll down to get a few more deets re: the switch…)

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{Gia Canali}

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{Gia Canali}

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{Amelia Lyon}

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{Jan Hendrik}

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{Kim Le}

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{SimplyBloom}

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{Amorology Weddings}

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{Jessica Hill}

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{Anne Marie Photography}

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Quick Reference List:

Alright… sit tight… we’re gonna scoot our back-end over to Bluehost now.  (You’ll know when we’ve switched, because we’ll be way faster, and way happier.)  Of course, feel free to browse as you would normally – as long as the site’s up, all is accessible.  But if you find that the site’s down at any point today, please know that it’s due to our migration to a different server, and that it’s only temporary.  So please do check back soon!

And, by the way, THANK YOU, EVERYONE, for all of the amazing support you’ve all given us throughout this whole process.  It’s so good to finally be getting back on track, now that we know GoDaddy was the culprit all along.   Sheesh.  But really, you guys, you don’t know how much your support has meant to us.  Please know that we love you so much, and we can’t wait to continue bringing the inspiration to your face once this server switchover is complete.

See you on the flip side.  :)

xoxo!  -Alison

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!


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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!

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

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

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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!

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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!

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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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WIDESPREAD PROBLEMS WITH GODADDY’S SERVERS

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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