WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY | Editor’s notes on black and white photography. Also, I watched Bridalplasty again.

I watched Bridalplasty last night.


There are many things about that show that evidence the demise of humankind, such as {Continue reading…}

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GUEST BLOGGER | ‘Postcards and Pretties’ | City vs. Country Weddings!

Hello Knotty readers… I’m Chris from Postcards and Pretties and I’m so honored to be a guest blogger on The Knotty Bride!  Today I would like to share with you two completely different weddings that share a similar color palette of magenta and gray.

The first wedding takes place in New York City {representin’ Alison’s hometown} possibly a city hall wedding with a small reception to follow with a few family and friends.  Centerpieces of potted orchids decorate an airy space and in lieu of a traditional wedding cake… pink frosted cupcakes are served to the guests.

City Board: couple on the bridge {simply bloom photography} piano {this is glamorous} escort cards {martha stewart weddings} bouquet {the knot} orchid centerpiece {martha stewart weddings} chalkboard {design sponge} pink cocktails {martha stewart weddings} white utencils and tufted couch {this is glamorous} hydrangea centerpiece {brides} cupcakes {my little things}

The country wedding is sweet and a bit rustic.  A garden shed makes a great backdrop for this outdoor wedding that is surrounded by potted flowers.  Bridesmaids will hold hand-tied bouquets wrapped with magenta ribbon and pashmina wraps are available to keep the chilly air at bay.  The homemade cake is as simple as this wedding.

Country Board: greenhouse {country living} bride {d magazine} garden utencils {kiss the groom} ice cream {tartelette} potted plants {martha stewart} peony bouquet {poppies and posies events} cake {oh joy} bouquet wrapped with velvet ribbon {country living} violets {martha stewart weddings}

So tell me: what are your thoughts on these two distinct settings?  What would you say is more your style?  I’d love to know!

xoxo!  -Chris of Postcards and Pretties

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GUEST BLOGGER | ‘Engaged and Inspired’ | Wedding Theme Inspiration: Board Game Roundup!

What would we do without Alison of The Knotty Bride?  Who knows!  She is one of the best bloggers out there for sure.  Well, hopefully while she is out of town, my fabulous ideas and inspiration will suffice for the time being.  I’m Allison from Engaged and Inspired bringing you some fantastically cute themed weddings which I am oh so jealous of!

Taking on a theme is rather challenging because the couple has to pick something they love, but not make it cheesy!  These weddings get uber brownie points for creativity.  Taking a theme and making it chic and modern is such an incredible venture and when it is done right, it’s major wedding eye candy.

Scrabble is such a darling concept for a wedding.  Really anything can be done when you get to put together little wooden tiles and make them say anything you want.

{Photo book: Made by Re:Paper via weddingbee / Love photo: Jean Tsai / Scrabble Cake: flickr / Save the Date: The Sweetest Occasion / Scrabble Pillows: Bedzine}

People make the most fascinating and creative little additions such as those amazing scrabble pillows, which make doing a theme wedding that much more modern and creative.

{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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TORI + DEAN | a chic, casual vow renewal | Color Scheme: Grey + Yellow + White + a Touch of Gold!

First, a quick admission.  We had Cheesecake Factory again last night. Laaaaawd help me, I am obsessed.  Those taquitos… once they hit your lips… and that cheesecake.  Well, obvs.

Ok, so you know Tori Spelling, right?  Ok, stupid question.  I think it’s safe to say that we all know quite a bit about her.  But here’s something you may not know… she has PHENOMENAL TASTE IN VOW RENEWAL PARTY DECOR.  The photos you are about to behold were snapped by the amazing Elizabeth Messina, and they are TO DIE.  Simply, TO DIE.

Hellooooo amazetastic detail inspiration!  How’s it goin’?

WHOOOOOAAAAAAA!!!!!! Right?  Am I right?

I mean, seriously, how much are you loving this?  Because I’m just sitting here, in awe of how much I actually adore each of these details.  And not in a hyperbolic blogger sense.  I mean it.  If I was standing right now, and I saw these images, I’d probably faint 0ut of – ok, now we’re getting hyperbolic.  Lemme bring it back down a notch.  But seriously, I am crazy about Tori and Dean’s taste in decor and if I had the honor of Tori planning my affair, I swear to the heavens, I’d give her carte blanche.  I’d honestly let go of the reigns entirely, and let her run free and style away.  Don’t believe me?  Well, unfortunately I won’t get to prove it to you because Tori’s probably busy.  I could check… but yeah that’s not happening.  But if she was into it?   You’d see.  Yeah, you’d see.  Carte blanche.

Now, aren’t these the cutest?

The typewriter and wall of photos are both killing me with their charm.

And now for my favorite board of all: the yellow motorcycle slash chalkboard inspired signage slash pool with a flower pom board.  Oh heaven, I have found you here on Earth.  In Tori and Dean’s vow renewal party.  Who knew?

I know you guys are obsessing over the chalkboards.  I know.  And I’m right there with you.

By the way, here’s a photo of the cute couple and their darling little bebez:

{Photos by Elizabeth Messina via her gorgeous blog, Kiss the Groom}

Let me know how you all feel about this decor inspiration.  Do you like it, love it, or – the most extreme – want more of it?  Chime in!  By the way, hope you’re having a pleasant little hump day.  Ahhh, Wednesdays, how I sort of {heart} you, but not really.

xoxo!  -Alison

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SMILEBOOTH | photo booth backdrop inspiration | Streamers, Confetti, Whatevs, Make Your Own!

Ok, I am obsessed with a lot of things.  (You’ll likely remember this thing, which has a lot in common with today’s post.)  Frankly, I don’t know how I make it through the day with so many obsessions in tow.  I see something I love (aka a new obsession), I jot it down on one of myriad post-its or leave the tab open on my browser, next to the 47 other tabs that are currently open (shh, don’t tell AppleCare about that).  So you get it.  I get obsessed with something unique/uniquely pretty/uniquely fantastical/uniquely priced for the value/etc.  And I keep it, on paper or open indefinitely in a browser tab.  And Smilebooth is no different.  In fact it hails from tab No. 4 in my Firefox browser, which means me loved it long time.  (Note: I have Firefox and Safari open concurrently, as I need access to two email accounts – you know how we do).

There are sooooo many reasons to love Smilebooth.  I love the people I met who operate it (they are radically nice, polite and all around good people); I love the concept; I love the memories created; I love the ease of use/interactiveness, etc.  See?  Lots of reasons.  Ok, great.  But there’s something I love even more than any of that, combined…

And it’s photo booth BACKDROP INSPIRATION!  Behoooold:

And what’s more?  They don’t just do the pictures and leave the backdrop entirely to you (unless that’s what you want, of course).  They can create a CUSTOM BACKDROP for your special event!  THIS IS SO RAD I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK, ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK.

Check it: you really can go in any direction you want with this…

FYI: I think it’s BYOC (bring your own costume)…

Here’s the skinny from the source:

We will work one on one with you to create an environment for your Smilebooth that gets your guests excited and adds that special touch to your photos. We can design the backdrop to compliment your wedding/event and carry out its overall theme. Or we can create something completely outrageous and different!

Love it.  How fun does designing a custom backdrop for your photo booth photos sound?  Because I think it sounds the funnest.  I also don’t think anyone’s questioning that.  However, you’re free to go backdropless, if you dig a clean look:

See?  It’s all about giving great face.

Actually, all you really need is a bunch of rad, free people who aren’t afraid to let loose and be a little silly on film.  Yeah, I have friends like that.  Fer. Sure.  And now I’m getting excited about the kind of Smilebooth experience I could have here.  Ok, this is a must.

{By the way, for those who are interested, you can get that blue dress above at Lulu*s (show below in white and coral).  You’re welcome.}

Anyway, as I was saying, I am deeply in love with the Smilebooth concept, and wholeheartedly recommend hiring them for your festivity, whatever it may be.  Want to check out more photos?  Take a trip on over to the raddest of blogs, run by Matt of Our Labor of Love, to check out some killer Smilebooth craziness.  Personally, I can’t get enough.  For example, check out this masterpiece I grabbed from Matt’s blog:

How freaking brilliant is all of that.  Smilebooth rules.

So, what do you think?  Do you love the idea of designing your own backdrop?  Would it be colorful or bare?  Or is this just not for you?  Chime in; I’m dying to know what you think!

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Now… Check. Out. This. Cake spread.

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

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


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

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

A few words from Kate Harrison:

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

Sorry, science cookies, coming right up:

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

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | June 11 | Part I ~ rock n roll weddings rule.

Good morning, everyone!  I don’t know about you, but this week went by super fast… then slow for a like a day and a half… then super fast again.  Whatever that means.  I hope you’re all excited that it’s Friday!!!  I know I am.  And since most of what I have to say today is twaddle, I’m just going to jump right into the first Find.  But first, let me key you in on something: I’m changing it up a little today.  Why?  Oh, because I can, that’s why.  ;)  No, it’s just because I thought it’d be more fun to do a slow release throughout the day.  Keeps the surprise/anticipation factor in full effect, and since I am CRAZY over each and every one of my Finds today, I couldn’t think of a better approach.  So please, prepare yourselves for a day of incredible inspiration ~ dope DIY, fab fashion, pimped out printables, pretty paper love… yes, serious lovefest going on today.  It shall all rule, and you shall love it.  I promise.

We begin with what I consider to be one of the raddest brides and coolest weddings I’ve seen all week (and I’ve seen a LOT):

Joel and Ricci’s wedding took place at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, and was photographed by the always fantabulous Sarah Yates (who you KNOW I LOVE).  Serious rock and roll inspiration going on here, to the max.  Never been the biggest fan of Madonna-the-early-years-ing it up on your wedding day, but Ricci’s choices in the neckwear department are killing me softly with their song.

Look.  At those.  Shoes. ↓

{ Photography: Sarah Yates // via Yes Bride }

Find Number 2 is on its way!  Sit tight…

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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!

* * *

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!)

* * *

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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DIY + PRINTABLE LOVE | Free Banner Printable + DIY FAVES LIST!

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend!  The boy and I spent some time at Renegade Craft Fair on Sunday and aside from the gale-force winds and intermittent murderous rain droplets, it was a pretty fun experience.  More on that a bit later in the week.  And by the way, no I didn’t drag him.  He came willingly.  But I should note that I’ve sat through my – and your – fair share of uneventful baseball games.  (I say “uneventful” because I rather enjoy the eventful ones.  No matter the sport.  Well, save for soccer.  “Uneventful” games are those that even the guys don’t really enjoy, but they watch, just in case something happens.  They are a FUN FAIL.)

Ok, so here’s the news: I love banners.  Look, if you will, at the banner-related adorableness below, which I plucked from a past post.

Everything about that lovely mustached couple’s dessert table is perfection, but, for me, the “Sweet Love” banner takes the cake. (:

And here’s a little e-sesh banner action, which I scoped out on Love and Lavender:

Ohh, the many fine uses of grocery store doilies.  They aren’t just for tea overflow anymore!

(Click here to see the rest of this e-session if you’re digging it!)

{Photos: SoCal wedding photographers Gabriel Ryan and Carlie Renee}

* * *

Ok, so given my penchant for the above, I think it’s quite obvious why I lurve this DIY project from Martha.  It combines my unwavering obsession with beautiful, easy DIY projects with my love for all things involving and/or related to typography.  Hence, my happiness over this find.

By the way, you do know how much I love typography… right?  Here‘s your proof.  Here, too.  And here.  If you needed it.

Also, I’m pretty sure there’s no confusion out there over whether or not I go batty over beautiful, eye-catching DIY ideas and free printables meant to make a bride’s wedding day that extra bit of special we all crave… but here‘s the proof on that, too.  Want some more?  No problem; why don’t you check out this partial list of my posted projects and printables!  Hope you enjoy!

There’s this one, which is SO cute

I LOVE this one – it’s labeliscious (:

This one‘s LOADED with inspiration for your own pretty packaging…

Here’s some more Martha DIY project love…

Ooh, and another a lovely labels find

Some of my favorite holiday DIY + free printables

You can scroll down to the last four project pics of this post; they are just sooooo perfect…

Love this treat packaging idea, which is also ideal for your wedding favors…

… And the list goes on, of course.  So, yeah, I really enjoy doing it [my]self.

* * *

Wedding banners have been around for a long time; everyone has seen the words “Just Married” – the most traditional phrase – on at least one rear window, bike seat, or even cake topper in their lives…

Oohh, speaking of toppers…

(Click the topper to go to that post!)

However, maybe you’re looking for something much more unique in your wedding banner, but don’t really want to have to make it yourself?  Or, maybe you’re searching for a less classic/traditional look in your banner.  Of course, that’s no problem at all these days, given the choices that have come out of the woodwork over the past several years.  There are a number of vendors out there who would be thrilled to help you out with that.

Here’s today’s alternative idea: howsabout a wedding papel picado banner, or maybe some custom flag centerpieces?

If you likey, check out aymujer’s Etsy shop for these and more!

Hope you enjoyed this one!  Let me know – are you a fan of wedding/e-session banners?  I think it’s obvious that I am, but I’m super curious what you guys think.  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!  And if you’re ambivalent, you can just tell me about your weekend.  (:

xoxo!  -Alison

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REAL WEDDING [ENVY] ❦ ashley + derek ❦ Photos by Stephanie Williams

There are no words.

But I’m gonna try.


Listen, if there’s one thing you all know about me, it’s that I’m never, ever, eeeeverrrrr at a loss for words.  I’m a writer; words are my friends.  But with this wedding, I’m struggling to keep my jaw off the floor long enough to form a coherent sentence.

Jewelry-wise, bouquet-wise, dress-wise, tan-wise, everything-wise.  It’s all chanting my name.  Alison.  Alison.  Seriously, if you were sitting next to me right now, you’d think I was touching myself, what with the oooohhs and aaaahhhs that are pouring out of my mouth.

I’m truly in awe of every last bit of this affair, and I will still be in awe in the days and weeks that follow this single post.  Because this is one of those rare moments when something that’s just too good to be true… is actually a real wedding.

I’m gonna say it – if I had to choose only ten weddings to take with me to a deserted island, I dare say with real conviction that this chic, stunning affair would be among them.  The design touches – and, more importantly, the brilliance that Stephanie Williams employs in documenting them – just straight up take my breath away.  This wedding turns the volume up to eeeleven.  It’s just that good.

Here are some words from Stephanie:

Ashley + Derek are two wonderful people!  They were married at the lovely Mary Star of the Sea church in La Jolla with reception at the Darlington House.  We had so much fun documenting their wedding day, which was filled with family + friends – lots of dancing and a little Southern flare! Stephanie + Heather from Amorology did an amazing job coordinating the days events and all the lovely decor! Amazing cakes + desserts by Sweet Cheeks Baking Company.  Gorgeous wedding dress by Anne Barge.  Flowers by KLF FloralBlue Breeze Band kept all the guests dancing! Delicious food by Tapendade.

You MUST head over to Stephanie Williamsblog to check out the rest of this wow factor wedding.  MUST.

I truly hope you love this one as much as I do!  But seriously, do you love?  I’m dying to know how you guys are feeling about this wedding.

Ooh, and quick note: doesn’t her dress look a bit like the white version of the Romona Keveza stunner I featured here (tippity top) and (OMG) here?  *Sigh.*  Totally obsessed.

xoxo!  -Alison

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WEDDING DECOR ❦ Mini Lustre Vases, Ice White Lights, Writable Napkin Tags + More Little Things!

Many of us want our weddings to have some kind of fairytale-ness to them.  Some want a lot, others want a little, but I think it’s safe to say that we want to set the scene properly for a dreamy escape into our new lives of loving one another forever.  And in my opinion, that rocks.  So, when I think of setting that scene, I think details.  Details, details, details.  And more details.  Because who doesn’t love details?  As they say, it’s the little things that show that you care.  And I’m thinking you care about your wedding day.  So, what do I think of first?  Without a doubt, lighting…

Ice White LED Tree Lights

Yeah, that’s what I call a fairytale setting.


If it made sense for my home to decorate every room with a handful of these, I would.  But it doesn’t make sense to do that.  However, it DOES make sense to decorate your entire wedding with these babies.  And I insist that you do it (if you want to, that is… no pressure).

Lustre Vases


And given the trends we’ve been observing, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw in a little chalkboard inspired lovin’ – form of: zinc place tags for your guests’ napkins!!!  Yes, OMG is right!!!  How much do you love these things?!  Is it as much as I do?  Because I honestly don’t know if that’s possible.

Six Zinc Chandelier Place Tags


And these, well I just can’t get over how cute these would look in photos.  Not to mention how official it would make things.  If you’re thinking of a school-related theme for your big day, may I introduce you to the perfect little finishing touch?

Old School Wedding Badges


At first I kind of pooh-poohed these mini chocolates, but they grew on me quickly and with force.  With a simple, clean palette based in white or ivory, these bite-size squares of milk chocolate wrapped in silver foil and a white outer sleeve are the ideal way to please the palates of your guests.

Mr & Mrs Neapolitans – NEW!


I’m sorry, I just think these little vase munchkins are frikin’ adorable, so I had to include them.  Aren’t they frikin’ adorable?  They’re frikin’ adorable.

Name Place Vases

(Look at the wittle hole for the wittle tiny fwowah.  Awwwwww!!)


This jar = phenomenal.  I am in awe of it and want ten.  This is just PERFECT if you’re looking for a brilliant way to light your intimate backyard/outdoor wedding.

Kilner Sun Jar


My Mom adoooooores these confetti boxes.  She can stare at them for minutes and, as if she were starring in an infomercial, talk up their attributes in a way that’ll tempt you to slap down your child’s tuition money just to get your hands on them.  But I must say, they are quite spectacular.  Really, what’s better than a box full of ready-to-go ivory colored confetti cones, filled with a mixture of delicate lilac, ivory blue and pink delphinium petals?  Not much, if you ask my mother.

Confetti Box

Hope you enjoyed these picks!  I’ve got to admit, they were super fun to pick out.  Though it was a biotch not to buy everything as I went along.  I think I may own several of those little vases before the day is through.  Seriously.

xoxo!  -Alison

By the way, if you did fancy those picks, I suggest you check out some more!

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WEDDING SHOE LOVE ❦ A trip to Bloomies ends in Badgley Mischka + a sex-friendly bed!

Stuart Weitzman “Marimbow” Satin Mid Heel Pumps $298.00

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

* * *

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

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

Badgley Mischka “Elia” Pumps $200.00

Giuseppe Zanotti High Heel Studded Gladiator Sandals $790.00

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

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

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

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

Badgley Mischka “Xavier” Rosette Platform Sandals  $190.00

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

Corso Como “Simone” Wedge Ankle Strap Sandals $155.00

Badgley Mischka “Xoa” Jeweled High Heel Sandals $200.00

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

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

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

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

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



P.S. – Let me know your favorite(s)!

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SNEAK PEAK | My SMP guest post this week…

Ooooooohhhh yeeaaaahhh.  Take a bite out of this little amuse-bouche.  The bride, Madeline, and her beau, Coby, are as precious as a Georgia peach!  I can’t wait for you to see the rest of this darling Savannah, Georgia affair, brought to us by the incredible ladies of SimplyBloom Photography.  Vania and Christine never fail to bring us the most delicious wedding eye candy around, and this wedding, which I’m featuring on Style Me Pretty, is truly no exception to the SimplyBloom rule.  Perfection achieved yet again, ladies.  Way to set the bar.  Girl power.  ;)

I’ll be updating this post with the link to this week’s guest blog over on Style Me Pretty as soon as I’ve got my hands on it!  Stay tuned, homies. :)



Credit: SimplyBloom Photography

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | Free Wedding Salon Tickets + Free Save-the-Date Printable + AMAZING Wedding Styling Inspiration and a Nutella Update…

Hope you’re having a decent Friday so far!  (I’m sure that depends entirely upon the time of day you are reading this.)  In any case, let’s get started, shall we?

* * *

So, today’s first Fab Find comes from Christine and Vania, the fab duo of SimplyBloom.  I don’t think it’s possible for these ladies to produce anything less than perfection.  Would you agree?  I mean, just look at this image:

* * *

Now, I am interrupting this installment of Friday’s Fab Finds to bring you a quick bit of titillating info before we move on… As many of you know, I went a little insane with a bucket of Nutella recently.  See: this post, and my Twitter feed on that day (which I will NOT link to because it is craziness).  Well, based on our brief white chocolate love affair and its aftereffects, I have a newsflash.  However, please note that this is by no means based on scientific data of any sort.  Only my personal experience.  My personal, fantastic experience.  But I say with certain confidence – both in the truth of this, and a different, new-found confidence I remember having in college – that Nutella makes your two friends to the north larger.  By two cup sizes, to be precise.  There, I said it.  I feel the need, however, to warn you not to overindulge unless you are willing to accept that this effect may be singular to me.  To my lucky freaking a$$.  Aaaaand now that I’ve bragged I’m sure they will go away soon.  Well, I’m not sure, but most good things do, so I’m basing that assumption off of experience.  Like when they took away my favorite flavor of Progresso soup.  Or the time they discontinued my favorite flavor of Wishbone salad dressing.  WHY DO THEY DO THIS ALL THE TIME?  Am I alone in this pain?  Me and my heaving bosom?

* * *

Next up, the freebie you’ve all been hearing about… Complimentary tickets for readers of The Knotty Bride from the fabulous ladies of The Wedding Salon!!! I know!  How great is this?!  The event is Monday, May 3, 2010 at The London West Hollywood.  To grab yourself these free tickets, just click here, then click “Register for this Event” and use promo code: KBLAC – that’s it!  Woot!  The ladies of Wedding Salon put on spectacular events, and my friends and I always have loads of fun.  You do not want to miss this, TRUST.  You’re seriously in for a blast… not to mention endless wedding inspiration, which is kind of the point.

* * *

Next up, some incredible vintage-themed inspiration featured on the lovely Love and Lavender, truly one of my faves!  (Photos by Curtis of Moore Photography; planning by Andrea of Soiree Event Planning; cakes made by High Tea Bakery and Vera Wang gown provided by Atelier Couture):

* * *

Love this find from Ez over at Creature Comforts.  Reusable party straws; so great!!!

* * *

This next bit of wedding inspiration KNOCKS MY FREAKING SOCKS OFF.  Thank you, Once Wed, for sharing with the world this incredible DIY Michigan Farm Wedding, photographed by Amy Carroll

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This next find made me jump a little in my chair when I first saw it.  Pretty much just like everything else the Wedding Chicks do.  I mean, right when I think they’ve given us the best free printable ever, they come out with a little something like AIRPLANE SAVE-THE-DATES.  Check it:

Want your own?  Go make it, now!  Oh, and you might be interested to know that they came out with another save-the-date printable, and it’s Mad Men inspired.  You’re welcome.

* * *

How ’bout some sexy lingerie?  Yeah, it’s been too long since the last time I displayed a couple of near-naked bods on this here blog.  The wait is over:

Andres Sarda via The Cinderalla Project

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Got such a kick out of this, which I found on I’m kind of a professional bridesmaid…

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Last but not least, Candy Poppers from Style Me Pretty!

Alright, Happy Friday, my lovelies!  I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the finds this week, and I hope you have splendid things in the works for your weekends… like relaxing, and sitting, and lying down in the grass and stuff like that.  (Can you tell I’ve had a hectic week?)  Speaking of chillaxing, I’m listening to this song as I write these closing remarks.  It’s soothing to the nth degree.  Soooooothing.  In my opinion, at least.  And this song is fantastic, sad sad sad, but simply fantastic.

By the way, which of today’s Fab Finds is your absolute favorite?!  I’m a little bit curious. ;)



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WEDDING COLOR LOVE: I died, woke up, then died again over this.

On a Wedding Chicks bender so far this week.  And it’s no wonder when they churn out a-stuff a-like a-this:

Yeah that’s right.  Take in the rest over on the Wedding Chicks‘ fabbity fab bloggity blog.

Credits, courtesy of Wedding Chicks:

Bridesmaid Dresses – Bella Bridesmaids
Event Design – Bliss Wedding and Event Design
Brides Gown – Rivini from Cincinnatti Bridal and Formal
Florist – Flowers on Orchard Lane
Reception Location – Hilton at Easton; Hoover
Make Up – Kellie Keck w/ Pearls & A Black Dress
Ceremony Site – King Avenue United Methodist
Groom & Groomsmen attire – Men’s Warehouse
Ceremony Musicians – Paragon
Reception Band – Paul Otten Band
Favors & Invitations – Bliss Wedding & Event Design
Cake – The Suisse Shop
Photographer – C Studios

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ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOVE | simply bloom photography | Hipsters Make the Best Engagement Session Subjects…

I realize Valentine’s Day has come and gone already, and that it’s March 2.  Fully aware.  I also understand that, once a holiday has passed, most don’t dwell on it beyond its final hour.  But let me ask you this: do we deny to those of us who were born on a leap year the right to celebrate their birthdays each and every single year, even though it’s a total farce and we’re all laughing at them behind their backs?  No, we do not deny them that right.  Because we love them?  No.  Because it’s fair.

So, in the spirit of fairness, and for leap year babies everywhere, if they exist (I mean, do they?  I’ve heard stories, but they seem as rare as pandas.  Comment if you’re out there – I’d love to do lunch and learn about your people.  How does it go; kind of like dog years?)… here’s an engagement session in the key of love.

Vania and Christine of SimplyBloom Photography seem to churn out swoonworthy sessions each and every time.  It’s a gift.

That’s a headboard.

I want this girl to throw my future children their birthday parties.  I’ve never seen someone so committed to a theme.  I bet money she has a blog – this kind of creativity doesn’t just sit idle.  If you read this, let me know, ok?  You’ve displayed some pretty amazing skills, here, and if you’re not in prop & set styling, you may have missed your calling.

Umm.  Love.

Check out the shot below.  This sneak peak of an upcoming shoot is what started today’s SimplyBloom frenzy.  I cannot wait to see more shots involving those pastel threads (LOVING his plaid shirt) and soft, embroidered drapery.

By the way – and tell me if you’ve noticed this, too – one thing that has always stood out to me about really fashiontastic engagement shoots… like, the really beautiful, colorful ones that always yield the best pics… is the fact that none of those outfits would ever find their way onto the body of my fiancé.  He’d just never wear something that plaid, or with suspenders, or generally anything especially hipster.  Not that I’d necessarily ask him to do so.  But I just know it in my heart that, if he did dawn a fedora, or wear a doorknob boutonniere, it would be because he loves me.  And for no other reason.

Photo credit: SimplyBloom Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Top Tips for Great Wedding Day Hair:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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The Wedding of Lily Fink & John Harrington IV ♥ Santa Barbara, CA ♥ Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings

Lily and John dancing together - possibly the best photo ever?

There are a few weddings that truly have my heart.  These weddings accomplish what I personally consider to be among the most important details in planning one’s perfect wedding.  Here’s the short list, in no particular order:

1. They are brilliantly colored…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bridesmaid Bouquets

2. They reflect the personalities and interests of the bride and her groom…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Photo Booth

3. They foster an atmosphere of merriment and togetherness…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Reception

4. The details are as elegant and charming as they are playful and sweet…

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Favors

(And they don’t get much sweeter than this!)

One of these weddings I’ve shared with you already, and that is the incredible wedding celebration of stationer extraordinaire, Cheree Berry.  Let’s think back on that red, orange, pink and blue masterpiece for a moment.  (Or click on it to refresh your memory.)

But there’s another one that, to this very day, continues to inspire me as I plan my own celebration.  It’s the wedding of Lily Fink and John Harrington IV, and it was featured in the Summer 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Feast your eyes on the inspirational goodness, below.  If you discover that you love this bride’s style as much as I do, be sure to check out Lily and John’s feature in Martha Stewart Weddings, where you’ll find each and every delightful detail.

MSW Lily Fink Wedding - bustle

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bridal Party

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Cake

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Ceremony

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bride and Mother

Lily arm in arm with her mother, Sharkey. (How great is that name, by the way?!!  Love it.)

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bouquet

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Centerpieces

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Monograms

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Cornflower Boutonnieres

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Groom's Family

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bridesmaid Gifts

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bride's Hair

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Stationery

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Bride's Family

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Rice Packets

MSW Lily Fink Wedding More Favors

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Table Settings 3

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Table Settings 2

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Table Settings

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Groomsmen

MSW Lily Fink Wedding Guestbook

{All photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

Lily and John’s wedding vendors/details:

Florist: Livia Cetti for The Green Vase

Photographer: Melissa Musgrove

Gown and veil: Carolina Herrera

Suit: Marc by Marc Jacobs, from

Vintage millinery flowers: Tinsel Trading Co.

Calligraphy: Nancy Howell Calligraphy

Invitations: Grosvenor Stationery Co.

Custom “Sally Holmes” Paper Rose: Jude Miller

Bridesmaid Dresses: “Tulip” dresses in azalea with peony sash, from Simple Silhouettes

Custom bridesmaids handbags: Lauren Merkin

Photobooth rental: Photobooth Scrapbooks

Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries

Cake topper: Livia Cetti for The Green Vase

{Photo and vendor/detail list, courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009}

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