ACCESSORY LOVE + HAIR TIPS | Inspired by nature, dipped in gold, bronze, or silver, and made with love.

Everything you’re about to see in this post is amazeballs.  Fair warning.

I got so excited when I found everything I’ve compiled here {Continue reading…}

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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!

* * *

xoxo!  -Alison

Ooh, I almost forgot! Two things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Center Stage Dress in Champagne

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

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

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

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


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

On the other hand, this:

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



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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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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

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Can I borrow this?  I mean, you are done with it.  Sooooo…

Oh, and the shoes, too.  Thaaaaaanks!

Here’s why I love this dress (which was featured in one of Abby’s amazing real weddings on Style Me Pretty):

I’ve always been frustrated by two very conflicting desires I have for “THE DREAM” dress.  One desire is to have a gown that is simple, playful and girlie, which, for me, translates to just right above the knee.  Plus, everybody has a certain feature that they love about themselves, and for me, it’s my gams.  (And if you don’t have a feature that you love about yourself, STOP IT.  YOU’RE BEING TOO CRITICAL.  And if you’re really having trouble, ask someone if you must… in fact it’ll probably make your day.)  The other (equally strong) desire is to achieve a classic, elegant look, and not to appear foolish and/or stunted.  Which, for me, translates most likely to a floor-length gown.  I’ve always assumed that there’s really no in-between, aside from those mid-calf-cutting pedal pusher frocks.  And what I know for certain is that I will NOT wear a dress that cuts me off mid-calf.  Here’s a little history on that…

When I was younger, I didn’t look like what these 13- and 14-year-old-girls look like these days.  I don’t know why, maybe I didn’t drink enough hormone-laden milk products during my formative years.  Whatever.  I just didn’t look like a woman when I was a child.  And in more recent years, I’ve totally embraced that fact.  It gave me a few more years to be a kid, and for that, I’m grateful.  But it wasn’t doing me any favors back when I was living it.  The reason I’m telling you that story is because two features I haaaaaaaaaaaated about my body were calf 1 and calf 2.  I really, really, really hated them.  And I wasn’t yet the towering 5’4 I am now, so my legs were shorter… and I played soccer.  And my mother is German.  Sooooo… I had muscular calves.  I think they were the recessive and dominant genes available… it was my destiny.  They weren’t like these massive calves by any means, it’s just that everyone pointed them out, and how “powerful” they looked.  (Thanks, everyone, for that, by the way.)

When I think back on what they said, I realize that they were being more flattering than anything else, but you really can’t blame me.  I mean, come on, these were the puber-tastic days.  Puberty is defined as not being able to process the pointing out of extremely unique bodily features as a good thing.  That is the definition.  So I felt hopelessly different, and it totally made the issue far worse in my mind than it ever was.

Anywho, fast-forward a couple years later, and everything changed.  EH. VRUH. THUH.  I got those things the milk drinkers got – but they came about naturally, which was obviously best.  It was a case of latent (or maybe, appropriately-timed?) genetic onset.  And boy was life full of sunshine and lollipops from that point, forward.  (HAHAHH, just kidding.  Boobs and proportional legs do not a perfect life make, Heidi Montag Pratt.  But I think you already know that at this point.  Actually, do you?)

… Anyway, that kinda sorta in a roundabout way leads me to why I’m a fan of this dress.  It’s a sweet little combo of elegant, floor-length style, and tea-length playfulness, all rolled up into one heck of a gown.  With no mid-calf cutting of any kind!

Aaalllllright!  So!  Enough about me, eh?  Picture time:

About the dress, since you’re probably wondering: Melody (the bride) purchased it in Manhattan at Cheap Jack’s Vintage Store – I am NOT messing with you, this is real – and had it custom altered to fit her more modern aesthetic:

“My dress was purchased at Cheap Jacks Vintage store in Manhattan for $350. It has no tags, so it might be homemade, circa the 50’s/60’s.  It was full length and I had it cut off to be short in the front and long in the back, removed the straps and a pink flower applique, added a jeweled belt, and basically redesigned the entire thing…”

Yeah.  She wasn’t kidding around.  Amazing job, Melody.

By the way, this girl and I were separated at birth.  Evidence:

“My headpiece was purchased on Etsy. It’s actually three things all pinned on my head together because I couldn’t find one I liked by itself.”

My dear sister.  We are reunited at last.

Looooove what’s goin’ on with her MOH’s get-up, too:

And finally, my fave shot of the day, below.

Isn’t it lovely?  Isn’t it wooonderrrrrfuuul?

Credits, courtesy of Style Me Pretty:

Photographer: Craig Paulson / Venue: The Foundry in Long Island City / Wedding Dress: Purchased at Cheap Jack’s Vintage Store; custom altered by the bride / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hair Accessories: Twigs & Honey / Bride’s Tattoo: Marco Serio at Invisible NYC / Hair: Lisa Carroll from Tommy Guns salon in NYC / Maid of Honor’s dress: Foley and Corinna / MOH shoes: Calvin Klein / MOH hair piece: Latish Angeline

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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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INSPIRATION BOARD LOVE | “Really Ridiculous” Wedding Eye Candy. Oh How I ♡ All of These…

During a sweet little stroll through Style Me Pretty‘s Style Circle, I found what my little brother commonly refers to as “really ridiculous.” Roughly translated from guyspeak, really ridiculous is defined as anything that is overwhelmingly beautiful and/or ornate… almost over the top, but not… just perfectly stunning to the fullest.  Ok, that’s my best adaptation of his phrase to the world of wedding inspiration.  If you haven’t deduced it yet, my brother employs the phrase in reference to women. ;)

Quick note and useful tip: all of these boards were created using Style Me Pretty’s inspiration board maker.  If you’ve never used it, I URGE you to give it a try.  Especially if you’ve got some wedding planning to do.  It’s a great tool for any bride looking to work out her color palette, or just explore her options.

And now for my finds: these shoes.  Love them.

Top 3 shoes

Like those silver stunners in the lower left, up above?  Here they are again, within a black and white wedding palette.  Not too shabby AT ALL.

It's Black and White

I adore the idea of putting all of your bridesmaids in the same exact heel… as long as that heel has its own very unique or playful style, like the polka dot pumps, below!  Such a fab way to jazz things up and have a little fun.

Black and White Affair

OBSESSED with the next three.


Owl & Pussycat

Soft & Romantic

By the way, you see that darling couple in the board above, in the middle, to the left?  Their wedding was AH.MA.ZING.  Check it out.

The little girl in me loves this board so much she wants to live in it.

Sweet Sakura

This one, too.

little button flowers

Best thing about this board: the Charlie’s Angels pose, with bouquets standing in for firearms.  Truly making peace, not war with this shot.  ;)

Young at Heart

I just really love horses.  And cowboy boots.  And stylish beverage glasses.  And this board:

Country Wedding

There’s a soft, mysterious beauty to this last board that I cannot get past.  My eyes are glued to it.


Wait, do the horses wish they were eagles?  All of them a collective eagle?  I don’t get it, but I luuuurve the rest of this board, so who cares.  (But I really don’t get that.  Anyone?  Am I just being dense?)

In other news… CANNOT WAIT to attend Wedding Salon this evening!  I’m so freakin’ excited over the eye candy and inspiration that awaits me at this fabulous event.  Gonna be insane in the membrane.

… In a very appropriate, reserved and well-mannered kind of way.


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So, I must start off with the most important piece of news today… well, it was yesterday, but whatever here’s the news:

I’m the newest guest blogger on Style Me Pretty!!!  WHAT?!  I know!  Abby does such a great job over there and I’m having an absolute blast being a part of all the wedding action to be had.  I hope you guys like my posts going forward!  Be sure to check out the first and second parts of my very first wedding feature!  That is, if giant inflatable swans at an elegant backyard wedding are the kinds of things that pique your interest.

See them?  See the swans?  Yes, they are fake.  Yes, I would have wanted to ride them, had I attended Nada and Paul’s wedding.  Seriously, how did everybody resist?


I’m completely smitten with these fabulous – and free! – desktop wallpapers that Ruche has create for our personal use and endless enjoyment.  Aren’t they ridic?

I’m currently using this one:

And this next one is the spittin’ image of that super sweet e-session I featured recently on this here bloggity blog.  Remember?  Now you can have the same-ish background that couple had!  And, depending on the size of your computer screen/your personal height, you might be able to pose in front of it for your very own e-session!  Yeah, not so much.  But all [totally idiotic] kidding aside, I am loving these backgrounds to death!


Totally in love with everything Leslie does over at Color Me Pretty on Decor8.  Prepare to gush:

That quaint little pot of floral yumminess brings up pleasant memories of my fave bouquets!  Leslie that is GORG.

I’ve always loved the way those candies look (below)… though I’ve never actually tried them.  I feel that I would be disappointed.  Are they any good?


Ooooh gosh.  I these dresses.

Especially the beige number on Emma Roberts.

Vanity Fair via Marry You Me

Crossing my fingers someone knows and decides to email me about it.  Because I love it like I would my own child.  That much.


Speaking of gowns, I’m also loving J.Crew’s wedding offerings… and REALLY loving the fact that they’re finally opening up an actual bridal store so that we can all go inside of it and actually TRY ON THEIR WEDDING DRESSES. Because, really, what’s the point if we can’t try them on?

And you know how much I covet their flower girl line.  Put that little lady in one of those fancy frocks, and she’ll never change out of it.


Ok, one more thing: I saw these DIY wedding invitations here on Style Me Pretty the other day.  How. Fabulous. Are. These. Invitations.  How fabulous?  The bride designed, cut, perforated, printed and compiled all 200 of them… herself.  We should all be so committed to our goals.

Her tools: a sewing machine, paper cutter, home printer, tons of lace, ribbon for days, a crapload of pearls, and hand seals.

Bravo, Rachael.  Bravo with your bad self.

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SEXY E-SESSION LOVE | Joyce + Joey + Boudoir | Strike a Pose with Your Honey for the World to See…

I saw this PHENOMENAL e-session on Wedding Chicks the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes.  Let me explain.

There have been a LOT more risqué photo shoots on the internets these days.  But just because they’re becoming more prevalent, it doesn’t mean I’m getting used to them.  Each time I catch a glimpse of a brand spankin’ new butt, or the side-most section of a titter-tatter, I feel like a peeping Tom.  It’s like I’m seeing something I shouldn’t be seeing…

But then I scroll down – because you can’t look away… I mean, right? – and I’m usually met with a bevy of absolutely stunning, evocative images that prove to me, almost every time, how beautiful and important these sessions truly are to the subjects involved.  Of course, there’s the obvious drive in pretty much all of us to capture forever on film the smooth, supple skin of our youth… the fleeting, all over “perkiness,” if you will.  But there’s also a deeper, less superficial purpose to these sessions, and it involves the unique bond between these couples.  It screams off the page in sessions like these.  That electric love experienced by both partners charges these images, and who doesn’t want that etched in something that lasts forever… say, film?

Well… Joyce, Joey and Ellen of Hong Studio: this is what I consider a mission accomplished:

I should note here that the shoot wasn’t wholly scandalous.  I mean, even the finest couple needs a few shots to take home to Grandma.  So, Grandma’s shots:

Precious.  Touching.  Totally innocuous.  Grandma will never catch on that they were just sexing it up, naked-style half an hour earlier.

Umm… s’cute! as my baby nephew says:

Here’s a fun fact: the breathtaking bride-to-be has her own eyelash studio in Vancouver, Canada.  Uh, wow, Joyce.  I’m impressed.  It’s called Noir Lash Lounge Inc. Sadly, I couldn’t be farther from Vancouver, and I don’t have a good enough reason to take a trip out there any time soon.  (My bank account doesn’t consider eyelashes a good enough reason, and I have to agree with it.)  Oh, and by the way, she’s not just the owner… she’s also a client!  HAHAHAHHHH yeah I’ll be here all week.

Photos: Hong Photography Studio // via Wedding Chicks

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{ DRESS LOVE } Sarah Seven will dress you up in heaven…

I’m really starting to fall for this dress-making diva, Sarah Seven.  She’s a force in the industry, and her unique, super feminine frocks have been speaking to me, lately.  Volumes.  With their frills and folds, their taut waistlines and flirty, unfinished hemlines, her creations have the unique femininity sought after by so many brides, let alone women in general.

I’m curious, what do you think of these frocks?  Do they fit your style?

By the way, if you like what you see here, you can visit Sarah Seven’s Etsy shop to check out what’s available!

Photos: Sarah Seven

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{ LINGERIE + FACE LOVE } Lara Stone for Eres… + pink lips and yellow eyelids

Holy s***.

By the way, I love a matte frosted pink lip and wet yellow eye.  Just felt like telling you.

Credits: Fashionising // True North Style

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FRESH FASHION ♡ spring/summer line love… ♡ New Collection from Reiss!

Love.  These.

By the way, that model is STUNNING, is she not?  Maybe it’s really just her face and awesome hair that sell these threads for me.  ‘Cause I am hook, line and sinker for each and every one of them.  And I usually don’t adore an entire line like I do this one.  But just look at that punim!  I think she’s the only person in the world who could sell me a pair of overalls.

Some of these looks would work brilliantly as your (slightly risqué) reception frock, no?  Like this one, for instance:

There’s something about this dress that I love… alas, I’m a mere 5’4, and this shape requires HEIGHT.  So I shall continue to admire it from afar (as is so often my fate!).

Love the lace going on here – very bridal.  Not a HUGE fan of the pants, but then again… 5’4.

Umm… yes, please:

Photos: Reiss // via Dress Design Decor

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{ DRESS LOVE } Little Gowns for Flower Girls, Plus the Perfect Shoes and Accessories!

When I saw a few of these precious little frocks featured on Utterly Engaged, I fell head over heels in love with J.Crew’s flower girl line.  I’m pretty sure you will, too.  Now, I may have gone a little overboard in this post – I’ve included what seems to be nearly every gown they offer, from silk taffeta to dupioni to tousled tulle.  But you know what?  I post what I love, and I love pretty much all of them, so why stop at five when I love 15?  You get me.

Just wait until you scroll down.  It’s not only the dresses that have me swooning; their little girl shoes are absolutely adorable, and the jewelry + embellishments they have available are simply too charming for words.  Honestly, everything is so darling, it almost makes me sick.

Twinkle ballet flats!  Oh, how delightful.

Patent-leather Mary Janes:

Satin ballet flats with rosettes:

Yup, they come in white, too.

Keeping it casual?  Here’s a simple satin ballet flat for the little munchkin.

The only thing I love more than these silk organza flower pins, is the fact that they’re 30% off when you buy two or more of them.  That’s kinda nice.  Sadly, I don’t have a use for them, but I hope you do!

Aaaand finally, a few pearls to round out the look and add that oh so fine finishing touch.

There’s kind of a HUGE price disparity between the necklace and the bracelet, by the way.  I don’t really understand it (aside from the obvious fact that we’re dealing with real and fake).  Still, that bracelet is WAY less expensive than you probably think it is.  Like, shockingly so.  So, as my fiancé likes to kid – here’s today’s lesson in Economics 101 with Alison: why buy a little girl freshwater pearls when they make perfectly good fake ones?  This way, when she misplaces or fully loses it sometime between when you give it to her and your ceremony, it won’t be that big of a deal.  Because she probably will lose it.  And you will get upset, if they were freshwater pearls.  No, not normal you – the crazy, getting married version of you who’s capable of losing her temper in front of little girls.

Images: J.Crew & Utterly Engaged

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WEDDING LINGERIE LOVE | Keep it Pretty… Pretty Itty Bitty.

I love the Summer 2010/Special Issue of New York Weddings.  It’s really good.  SO good, in fact, that I’ve been in the habit of keeping it on my person wherever I go for the last couple of weeks or so.  And I must say, their site is no less entertaining and informative.

Here are some lingerie suggestions I picked up on a recent visit.  These would be quite the delightful bridal shower gift for any bride-to-be.  Though, I’m sure those of us who love this kind of stuff will be more than tempted to, uhh, take things into our own hands…


Myla Annabelle peek-a-boo bra/button-back knicker ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Kiki de Montparnasse pearl restraints ~ Kiki de Montparnasse; 79 Greene St.; 212-965-8070.

Commando Better Than Nothing thong ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.


Myla Body Silk strapless bra/suspender belt/thong ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Damaris Faroux bra/knickers ~

The Lake & Stars Trick Date silk-chiffon chemise ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Kiki de Montparnasse Muse corselette bra/tuxedo panty ~ Kiki de Montparnasse ; 79 Greene St.; 212-965-8070.



Photos: Hannah Whitaker // Source: New York Magazine

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WEDDING GOWN + ACCESSORY LOVE | Jenny Packham | That Hot Oscars Gown + How You Can Make it Sparkle…

Miley Cyrus wore this sparkling beauty of a gown at the Oscars, and I had mixed feelings about it.  First, check it out on one of Packham’s (especially angry looking) models.  A lovely gown, it is.  I’m a fan of the yellow backdrop, as well.  It’s bright and uplifting, but, most of all, seems to be doing its part to summon a long overdue Brady Bunch musical reunion special.

… Pretty dress, right?  Pretty unique, pretty sparkly, pretty corsetty without being too corsetty… overall, quite pretty, indeed.  However, on such a young starlet like Miley (she wore it to the 82nd Annual Academy Awards on March 7), I have to admit, I felt more than a little uncomfortable looking at her.   Because when I look at her, I believe I’m looking at a 28 year old woman.

But, like Dr. Oz says, “it’s time for her real age…”

Here it comes…

… She was born November 23, 1992, and that makes her 17 years old.


Okay, don’t get me wrong; she looks fabulous.  It’s just that it seems a little early in life to be dressing that adult.  And by adult, I mean letting it all hang out.  Which isn’t necessarily adult, per se.  But you catch my drift.

What really grosses me out is that my google search of “miley cyrus age” yielded, as its first result, a site entitled “Miley Cyrus Age Countdown,” the sole purpose of which is to count down the days until Miley turns 18 (in other words, becomes legal).  Gross.

So, while I am all about linking back and giving credit where credit is due, I will NOT be linking to that site.  I hope you understand.

Moving right along.

For the sake of discussion, let’s all agree to forget Miley’s so young.  Jenny Packham makes a ridiculously ravishing gown.  And Miley’s hair and makeup are marvelous.  Marvelous.  I mean, those are some EYELASHES, girl.  You clearly aren’t kidding around.  All in all, we’ve got some truly great inspiration for a bridal look worthy of an awards show.

Now for a little bling inspiration…

Okay, so that’s what Miley wore.  However, I’d like to offer up to you some of my own glitzy suggestions, all from Packham’s Spring 2010 line:

Jenny’s got some fabulous bling going on for Spring, I do not lie.  It’s beyond hot and I’m a little obsessed.  (Stay tuned if you want to see the rest; I’m planning to feature lots more of her bright, flashy line in an upcoming post!)

One last thing.  Here’s the lad with whom she spent significant chunks of time that night.  Cutie, right?  They’re starring in a movie together that I will likely not go to see.  But best of luck to them both.

His name is Liam Hemsworth, and he was by Miley’s side as they attended the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party in West Hollywood, California.  Good golly, Miss Miley.  Nicely done.


So, let me know, what did you think of Miley’s look?  Was she super chic in Packham?  Also, would you consider wearing this gown for your wedding?  Weigh in; I’m dying to hear your thoughts!

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Welcome back, friends!  (If you’re new here, you might want to check out the previous installments from this multi-part series on the Wedding Library’s Wedding Party.)

Alright, once again, do you remember this teaser?

Well, here’s the rest of it…

You may have noticed that this girl is smokin’ hot.  So it doesn’t matter that the bottom half of the gown is TO DIE, but the top looks a bit like a bedazzled flesh-toned leotard.  Smokin’ hot makes that okay.  Net verdict: LOVE.

Anyone on the search for a black wedding gown?  Vera’s all over that…

By the way, if you’re seriously in the market for a black wedding dress, I salute you, pioneer woman.  Vera’s is definitely one to consider, but bright and early tomorrow morning I’ll be showing you another black gown that’ll likely blow ya mind.  It’s so beautiful, I’m threatened by it.

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♡ WEDDING PARTY ♡ Second Installment ♡ ………..VERA WANG RUNWAY SHOW………..

Remember this sneak peek?  Of course you do – I haven’t experienced so much positive feedback since transitioning out of diapers.

Now, for this post, I’m gonna do something CRAZY.  And that’s cut the small talk.  Because this series of posts speaks volumes, and I don’t feel like shouting to share the stage.  ;) However, before we begin, here’s a quick word to the wise:

Bigger is always better…

So click on each photo if you want to feel like you were there with me.

Alright, without further adieu, I present to you… Vera.

Breathtaking, right?  When this show began, I remember becoming consumed by what was strutting immediately before me.  Unable to keep it inside, I turned to a friend seated next to me to whisper how I felt… “A sense of calm has washed over me.  I feel like I’m lazing in a spa, or floating on a thick cloud.  This is INTOXICATING.”

… Oh, and by the way, we are SO not done.

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♡ WEDDING PARTY! ♡ First Installment… Inspiration + Fashion + Wedding Pro Tips from This Weekend’s Wedding Library Event in NYC

As most of you already know, this past Saturday I attended one of the most FABULOUS wedding events around.  It was, of course, the “Wedding Party,” and it was bananas.  I’ll be presenting new photos and inspiration from the event every single day this week.  Let’s begin, shall we?

Commencing with our star players: the event was hosted by Claudia Hanlin and Jennifer Zabinski, the two lovely, remarkable women behind the Wedding Library, a chic wedding research boutique located on NYC’s upper east side.

Before I go on, I’d first like to extend my sincerest gratitude to Claudia and Jennifer for having me – the event was INTOXICATING (more on why I chose that word, in a later post) and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the experience, from start to finish.  (Truly, it was the best way I could have imagined spending my birthday!)

The Party, which began at 10:00 in the morning and lasted well into the afternoon, felt like it whipped by, due in large part to its uber-jam-packedness (yes, a made up word) with delicious goodies, jaw-dropping style, incredible people and breathtaking inspiration.  If you weren’t there, well, you’re probably going to regret it once you see the myriad photos I took of everything the event had to offer.

After Claudia and Jennifer welcomed everyone, they handed things over to the one… the only… Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Darcy has quite a presence.  She’s all sorts of charming, a bit self-deprecating and, most of all, brilliantly in touch with the wedding industry’s freshest trends and the bride collective’s deepest decorating desires.  I eat, sleep and breathe Martha Stewart Weddings, both print and net, yet still found myself hypnotized by the engaging musings and dazzling imagery delivered by this maven of matrimony.

Here, she shares with us the unexpected beauty afforded by an ice sculpture:

Here, a lovely tablescape:

Here, she speaks about the wedding of stationer Cheree Berry:

(Click here and here for loads of Cheree Berry wedding inspiration.)


You’re going to LOVE what’s in store this week… and I kinda can’t wait to share it all with you.  Here’s a sneak peek…

And another…

It’s gotta be in doses, however, because I’ve got a LOT to post.  I put my camera battery in a sleeper hold and didn’t let up over the course of nearly five hours.  Thank bejeezus my friend brought along her own, or I might have been that blonde girl openly crying in the second row during the Vera Wang runway show.

Fortunately, it didn’t go quite like that.  Instead, I snapped a bazillion photos, all beginning with this one:

Just wait until you see the rest.

Oh, and it’s not just gowns I’ll be posting… though the rush one experiences at a Vera Wang runway show is likely comparable to that achieved in summiting Mount Everest (I wouldn’t know firsthand, but it’s probably accurate).

I’ve got dessert tables that tantalize, wedding cakes coated in buttercream, colorful crafts for the creatives out there, and so much more.

So I’ll see you back here, soon, for the next installment!


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No, I Love YOU Much.

Have you ever felt like you’ve found your long lost twin – a separated at birth, or maybe from-another-mother kinda deal – just upon reading a couple of posts on a blog that’s new to you?  It’s a funny feeling, a new level of awesomeness, because it’s like finding an old friend without ever having met her.

Well, when I read “I am a bad bride with too many STDs,” by Lauren of I Love You Much, I found mine.  For more reasons than what I’m bringing to the table today, but I think the inspiring eye candy that follows will be most satisfying.

By the way, if you haven’t already deduced that STDs stands for Save-the-Dates, well then you’re probably not planning a wedding at the moment.  I must say that I have struggled with that unfortunate acronym for quite some time.  I don’t care if that other thing it used to stand for is now officially known as “STI” – no matter, because it will ALWAYS denote an angry nether region to me, and I’m not really into sounding like I’m trying to put a freshly acquired infection on blast when all I’m doing is sharing some pretty wedding paper.

If these were my save-the-dates, I’d have a HECK of a time deciding on just one to send out.  So I’m not shocked that she’s been facing the same issue.

Lauren, I wish you barrels of luck making a decision.  You have your work cut out for you.  And by the way, it’s never too late for a save-the-date as beautiful as any of these.  I’d be plum delighted to receive one in the mail… even if it followed the invitation.  The prettiness you’ve created here is beyond compare.


{ Photos taken by Matt Miller }

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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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