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

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

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

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

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

{Photos: Stephanie Williams}

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

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

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

↑ Love, right?  Deets to follow ↑

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

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

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

Lynx & Leo Dress

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

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

Jackie Paper Dress


Item #1:

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

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

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

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

And it’s photo booth BACKDROP INSPIRATION!  Behoooold:

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

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

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

Here’s the skinny from the source:

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

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

See?  It’s all about giving great face.

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

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

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

How freaking brilliant is all of that.  Smilebooth rules.

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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*Submit your proposal story!*

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SOUTHERN BRIDE WITH SERIOUS STYLE {Plus: our Dad’s Day & the best parenting advice I’ve ever read…}

Happy Monday, you crazy kids.  How were your weekends?  Do anything special?  Fiancé and I spent a nice, calm summer day with my Popsicle et al and, all in all, it was pretty relaxing.  (Plus, I made a cake!)  By the way, to all the brides who got married on Father’s Day: I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful gift to your dad than to let him walk you down the aisle on such a meaningful day.  Both my Dad and I are major proponents of the idea!  So congrats to any of you who got hitched on Sunday – well played!

(Like the shoes?  You might love the Badgley Mischka Randee featured in this post.  Btw, if you like ruffled things, here’s my fave quilt EVER.)

Alright, today I’ve got a couple of things I thought I’d share with you, the first of which I’m going to pepper in throughout all the chatter of the second one…

So, number one = totally stylish bridal look inspiration, as photographed by the endlessly creative genius that is Elizabeth Messina and;

Number two = details about how my Dad spent his Father’s Day.  Plus, I’ve got a comment on good parenting at end of this post.  Well, more like an excellent quote on the topic.  Not that you care, but I’m sharing anyway.  (;

* * *

Ok, I am obsessed with this bride’s style, and think you might be, too.

* * *

Back to Dad’s Day… some of you might remember that little bit of unsolicited advice I dispensed about Father’s Day at the very end of this post right here; well, I like to make a habit of taking my own medicine, which translates into the kind of Father’s Day we gave the ol’ patriarch.  So, how did he spend his day?  Exactly the way he wanted to (most activities done with his loving wife by his side):

-watched his morning news programs
-watched Italy and New Zealand end in a tie
-went for a walk
-had a heart to heart with his kidsters
-took a shower
-went to a friend’s barbeque
-got heartwarming cards and calls from each of his kids
-watched a bunch of golf
-took a break to have dinner with us
-watched the end of the golf
-had an amaaaaazing black and white (choc/vanilla) cake with sprinkles, made by yours truly
-then we had him listen to this
-then he went for another walk, during which he thanked his wife (my Mom) for giving him wonderful children (which she did, thank you very much).  Awwwwwwww.  Right?

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


Gorgeous.  You MUST check out more on Elizabeth Messina‘s blog, Kiss the Groom.  You MUST.

* * *

Because yesterday was Father’s Day, and because proper parenting is so important and so little advice is given to those who don’t actively seek it out, I thought today would be the perfect day to include a passage my fiancé brought to my attention.  It’s by the great Kahlil Gibran, author of “The Prophet.”  I don’t have kids, so I’m no authority by any stretch, but I’ve got to believe this is one of the smartest bits of thought on the subject of parenting, imo:


Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends with you His might that His arrows might go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~ Kahlil Gibran

Hope you enjoyed both bits of this post!  I’m curious, what do you think of today’s bride’s style?  Are you into the ruffle-mania, the statement headgear, the whole shebang?  Share your thoughts, either way!

xoxo!  -Alison

{Credits: Sweet southern nuptials via Elizabeth Messina‘s Kiss the Groom}

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

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

* * *

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

Ok, let’s get going!

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Now… Check. Out. This. Cake spread.

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

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


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

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

A few words from Kate Harrison:

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

Sorry, science cookies, coming right up:

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

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

More on that loveliness in a few…


(Note: stories still being accepted)

Ok, so let me just say that the response to this has been AMAZEBALLS.  (Thank you, Michelle Ward, for turning me on to that one, by the way.)  I mean, I knew you guys would be into it, and I also knew you all had some pretty amazing stories to tell, but HELLO.  My inbox is flooded with heartwarming, well thought out, totally surprising, totally inspiring proposal stories that had me sitting on the edge of my seat yesterday with a tissue box at the ready.  And I have to say – the most surprising thing of all, so far?  The stories that have come in from the guys out there.  I don’t know how you came upon the site, where from or who recommended you visit, but I am SO GLAD YOU FOUND ME.  Because your proposal stories/photos/videos are RULING.  And by the way?  The stories I’m getting from all my females out there are equally as awesome – please don’t get me wrong, ladies.  I just felt compelled to give a z100 shout out to the fellas submitting their love-laden stories to the blog.  I didn’t expect it and it has made my year!  (Seriously, just wait until you read/see/watch these things.  I cannot wait to share them all!!!)

* * *


Fun fact: the fiancé has been mostly a back-end guy (SHUT UP) when it comes to the site here.  However, recently he’s been trying his hand at a little TKB promotion.  He asked me some time ago for a handful of my business cards, with the intention of handing them to engaged girls near his workplace.  Every day he says he sees ladies with huge rocks on their fingers and he calls them all “missed opportunities.”  (In a business sense, not a nailing sense, obvs.)  He’s really serious about this, and because I admire his business sense, and have always felt I can trust his public and interpersonal appropriateness, I thought, hey, why not?  It’s not my first choice marketing approach, but he certainly wasn’t reinventing the wheel.  Well, last night I saw him in action…

Scenario one: He spies a young woman with a ginormous engagement ring.  STOPS in the middle of the crosswalk.  RUNS TO CATCH UP WITH HER.  She’s listening to music and walking briskly.  Taps her on the shoulder and somewhat smoothly shoves the card in her face.  RUNS AWAY FROM HER AND BACK TO ME.

Scenario dos: notices a young couple sitting a couple tables away from us at dinner.  Asks me: “can you tell if she’s wearing just an engagement ring, or both an engagement ring and a wedding ring?”  Me: “Why.”  Him: “You know why.”  I’m already a little wary of what’s about to go down, but I decide to go along with it, and I peer over to check her finger.  It’s dark, I’m half-committed to the operation anyway, and so I can’t make out anything.  Me: “Can’t tell.”  Him: I THINK IT’S ONE… I’M GOING FOR IT…”  Me: “No… wait, WHAT?  No… ok fine.”  (He’s already up when I say ok fine.)  She gets up, he asks her if she’s engaged or married… WEIRDED. OUT.  She says, “umm… I’m married.”  He still gives her the card because how weird would that have been if he just walked away from the scene?!  Card wasted? check.  Girl sufficiently weirded out? check.  Valiant, if misguided, effort by the fiancé? check.

I took the remaining cards back.  Actually, I didn’t have to say anything – he handed them over.

I am rethinking this approach.  But even more, I’m waiting for these girls to leave comments on the blog.  I expect they will go something a-like a-this:

“umm, hi alison, I like your site, I’m glad some random dude accosted me on the street/while I was enjoying dinner with my husband in a restaurant and shoved your card in my face.  I know I gave him the dirtiest of looks when he turned around, but your business card is kickass and I just had to visit.  So all in all, a win-win!”

* * *

And now, since it was such a big freaking hit yesterday:


Remember that headgeartastic shot I threw in at the top of this post?  Here’s some more amazing amazingness, from Andrea and Marcus of Tag7 Photography

And a lil more…

Headpieces: Twigs & Honey
Dresses: KirstieKelly Bridal Sarah Seven
Shrug: Elizabeth Dye
Hair & Makeup: Erin SkipleyLauren Napier


Ok, I’m about to g0 heavy on the Tec Petaja love today, because, well, he is phenom.  So here we go…

Yep, he took this shot:

Satin belt: J. Crew / “Julianna” Dress: Christos / Photo: Tec Petaja / via WeddingBee


Here, by the way, is the Julianna in all its runway glory:


Watermelon Moon Farm- Lebanon

Obsessing over that sweet lil white frock she’s sporting.  Obsessing.

Watermelon Moon farmJoy Thigpen EnvironmentsOncewedLiz AgricolaB. Hughes


Details- Part II

Quick reminder that Father’s Day is June 20th this year.  So if you’ve got a Hubby or Popsicle (that’s what I affectionately call my Dad; yeah, you can steal it) who deserves a little special treatment, DO SOMETHING for him.  No pressure.  But keep in mind the fact that the World Cup games may be slightly more important to the man than family time in a cabin upstate.  Just sayin’. She learned the hard way.

xoxo!  -Alison

I almost forgot to ask: what are your thoughts on today’s obsessions – any standout faves?  And if you don’t feel like talking about that, then what are your plans for Father’s Day, if any?

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now for some serious detail action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

(… Uh-oh…)

* * *

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

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

* * *

Ok, here’s the money shot!

WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

* * *

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

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


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

* * *

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


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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

Ok, on to the main event…

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

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

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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.


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


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


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


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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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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

Can you stand it?

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til later!

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

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

Esmé satin platform sandals


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

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

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

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

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

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Silk taffeta Clementine dress

Silk chiffon Taryn dress

Silk taffeta Lorelei dress

Cotton cady Madeleine dress


Pearl and silk wrapped necklace – natural

More jewelry…

MORE jewelry!!!

Another shoe (!!!)…

This one’s the Nicolette strappy heel

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

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xoxo!  -Alison

Ooh, I almost forgot! Two things:

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

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

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ❦ stylish wedding looks ❦ A Perfectly Altered Dress + A Timeless ‘Do

When I saw the wedding of Shannon and Pratap, shot by Sara of OneLove Photography, I got really excited.

I just LOVE this wedding; the details make me so incredibly happy.  The little Ferrero Rocher gold-foil wrapped chocolates (a childhood fave of mine) marking each guest’s seat at the table, the bride’s big, magnificent jewelry, the simplicity and skillful use of color… and, most of all… HER DRESS.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is how a dress should fit.  You know and I know that it really does all come down to that.  (Well, aside from all the love and happiness stuff, but you follow me.)

The thing is, if your dress fits properly, you own the day.  Simple as that.  No worries about photos marred by your constant need to lift a falling strapless gown – which happens waaaaay too often.  No unsightly gathering or bulging at the waste when you sit down to eat (that is, if you sit down to eat).  Proper fit is important, and I advise you to go out and get it.  But don’t fret; it’s not a requirement that you spend copious amounts of your earnings on alterations.  You may need to do a little sleuthing, but I’m confident that someone you know, somewhere, has the 411 on a stellar seamstress who’s well-versed in making dress dreams come true.

Doesn’t she look phenomenal?!!  A perfect fit will leave you looking stylish and sexy, but still completely appropriate.  Which is pretty much my definition of the ideal wedding day look.

Now, check out a bride with what I consider a fab, simple ‘do, also shot by Sara.  Her name’s Julie, and while she’s stunning head to toe, I especially admired what she did up top on her wedding day.  So basic; half-up, half-down.  But the classic, timeless beauty of the look she has accomplished makes me swoon!

And she’s single-handedly made me a believer in cascading bouquets.

Photos: OneLove Photography {Weddings 1 & 2}

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Aaaand one last thing.  Kat of Rock ‘n Roll Bride tweeted this find, which was discovered by her husband.  It is just too funny not to share with you guys.  Enjoy!


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BRIDAL HEADPIECE LOVE ♡ I want all of these. I’m not kidding.

Lo Boheme

The love I have for these bridal accessories is comparable to that which I hold for my unborn child.  (Don’t have one of those yet so I probably don’t know the true meaning of a statement like that, but I’m still confident that I’ve drawn an appropriate parallel.)

This is not only a grouping of some of the most lovely accessories EVER, but also some truly incredible wedding day hairstyle inspiration.  Heck yes, a twofer!

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First up is Lo Boheme‘s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, shot by the fabulous Marisa Holmes in her historic 1888 studio.  … These make my mouth water.  I need to have about seven of them in my life.  Not to mention those DRESSES.  I wish they were selling those dresses!!!

Check out their etsy shop if you’d like to have one of these beautiful things in your life.

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This next headpiece blows my mind.  I found it over on my darling friend Melissa’s blog, The Loveliest Day.  Check. Out. This. Shot.

Yeah.  That stunning young woman’s name is Dana, and she’s got herself an Etsy shop called Retr0lux, where she sells fabo headpieces just like the one you see on her beautiful head.  And I WANT IT.  I also want to look like this on my wedding day.  Thought I hated huge, ruffled statement mini jackets.  HAH!  I WAS SO WRONG.  Dana defines style for me today.  Can the two of us please go shopping on Melrose sometime?  I didn’t realize I needed some pointers until I met you and your unique, brilliant fashion sense.

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I caught a glimpse of‘s new line, the “Black Label,” on Mixed Plate, and it made the happiness area of my brain go insane.  I had never appreciated head decoration all that much until the very first time I discovered Jen and Jamie’s hyper-feminine designs long ago, and this, their newest line, is doing its part to hold my interest.  You guys are gonna eat these things up.  Eat. Them. Up.

Yeah, I told you!  By the way, I kind of can’t take how ridiculously beautiful this model is.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s Alison Sudol, of A Fine Frenzy!  Gotta love it.

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Photos of Lo Boheme pieces taken by Marisa Holmes.
Photos of Retr0lux items taken by Jason Q. Tran.

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VINTAGE INSPIRATION ❦ e-session props + details I love ❦ Simply Bloom Photography

I am SO EXCITED about these pictures.

I think it’s no secret around here how positively OBSESSED I am with the ladies of Simply Bloom.  But here‘s some proof.  Here, too.

And here‘s a more recent post featuring one of their yummiest engagement sessions EVUH.  If you decide to click on it, you’ll see that I included a teaser in anticipation of this exact shoot that I am so freakin’ excited to share with you now.  I am, like, bursting at the seams right now over this shoot!!!

The biggest thing I take away from these photos – aside from their outRAGEOUS beauty and color – is the impact that just a few thoughtfully chosen details can have on your very own e-session.  If you’re looking to ramp up the cute factor of your upcoming shoot, I suggest taking some pointers from Vania and Christine’s direction with this shoot (they’re the dynamic duo behind Simply Bloom).  This means a trip to the antique store is a MUST.  You never know what you’ll find and that makes it SOOOOO FUUUUN.  In this shoot, the ladies employed a brilliantly colored french cookbook, a tea set, a honey bear, eggs, an apron, mini paper lanterns, some desserts… ok they went crazy with props.  And I love them all the more for it – just look at the results!!!  BUT you don’t need ALL of this to make your e-session stand out, I promise.  Even just one or two props, if carefully chosen, can a perfectly pretty e-session make.  No antique stores nearby?  I’d advise checking out your local Anthropologie.  A bit more pricey, but hey, it’s your engagement… which means it’s worth it, OBVIOUSLY.  Plus, they almost always have a nice gathering of odds and ends in their sale section.  For example, last time I went they had this huge wicker basket of totally random and totally rad door knobs.  An inspiration shoot stylist’s dream.

Final thought on the matter: it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the ladies of Simply Bloom taking your pictures.  ;)

Want to see the rest?  That’s a stupid question.  Click here to go straight to the Simply Bloom blog for more!

Photos: Simply Bloom Photography

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

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

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

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


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

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Thanks, I look forward to working with you!

Coming up…

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

That’s up next, BOYYYYEEEE.

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OMG | The Wedding Chicks Talked About Me.

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

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

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

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