The Lingerie Diaries: Where I WON’T be purchasing my panties. {… Plus, my new bridal necklace OBSESSION.}

We went to Macy’s this weekend and somehow had tons of fun there. This was not part of it: {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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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.)

* * *

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.)

* * *

Silk taffeta Clementine dress

Silk chiffon Taryn dress

Silk taffeta Lorelei dress


Cotton cady Madeleine dress

Jewelry!!!

Pearl and silk wrapped necklace – natural

More jewelry…

MORE jewelry!!!

Another shoe (!!!)…

This one’s the Nicolette strappy heel

* * *

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

* * *

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! | New Anthro, Table Numbers, Dress Love, an STD, a Cookie-Brownie, and a Lil Hot Tubbin’ Never Hurt Anybody…

Traces of Eyelet!

In A Twinkling Dress

Nueva Granada Necklace

For your bridesmaids? → Drifting By Dress

Obsessed with all of the above from my home away from home, Anthro.  I know I mention them a lot – would you like me to lay off a bit?  No?  Ok, full throttle on the Anthro it is.  …No one can say I don’t listen to my readers.

* * *

Love and Lavender has provided me with the first good reason ever (in my personal book, which is often a unique book) to have an over-sized bridal party.  The reason is in the pictures, by the way.  The awesome, awesome pictures, taken by Jamie Clayton

I mean, how much are you loving these shots?  I’m thinking they’re totally worth putting up with a gazillion panicky phone calls from your girls about hair the day of your wedding.

*Awww!*

* * *

Caught this unique vintagy find on a visit to Ruffled and died over the cuteness factor!  The idea, straight from Ruffled: vintage paper doll clothes as escort cards for a wedding! Am I blowing your mind?  Because it blew mine.  Creativity is the greatest thing in the world.  Truly.

{Vintage paper doll clothes on a clothesline via Kris Atomic by Aline Smithson found on Ruffled}

* * *

This next find, dubbed A Literary Garden and brought to us by the ladies of 100 Layer Cake also had me reeling.  The table number idea, executed by Megan Gray of Honey and Poppies, is so simple – and I don’t mean easy, I mean simple – but I don’t know if I ever would have come up with it on my own.  It’s definitely one of those great ideas you wish you’d thought of yourself!  Love it, Megan.  You’re a genius, literally. *snicker snicker*

{Desserts: Erica O’Brien / Photos: Jessica Claire / Venue: The Heritage Museum of Orange County}

* * *

Next up, some absolutely lovely wedding gowns from Neiman Marcus, which I discovered on Erin Ever After!  Apparently, most of them are below $750!!!  That’s kind of amazing… no, seriously.

* * *

And check out this save the date, made out of a FEATHER!!!  I mean, what?!  A feather?!  I found this gem over on Brancoprata, a fantastic blog run by one of my good blogger friends – not to mention one of my favorite girls in the world – Sofia!  Totally in love with her attitude and her style.  But obsessing over this, in particular:

{Images via Once Wed / Design: Duet Weddings / Photos: Jose Villa / Cake: Erica O’brien / Flowers: Kate Holt}

* * *

I’m thinking we end on a tasty, completely unrelated to weddings note.  Sound good?  Well, it certainly tastes good…

Yup.  That’s called a “brookie;” it’s a brownie-cookie.  Courtesy of the oven-lovin’ maven herself, Bakerella.  My question is: how do you eat just one?  How do you NOT eat the whole pan?  Seriously, I’m asking.  (People, I’m this close to licking the screen right now.  This close.  It’s settled; I’m baking these babies up over the weekend.)

Well, that about does it for Friday’s Fabs, my lovelies!  Fingers crossed that you enjoyed them as much I did!  I hope all of you are having nice little Fridays of your own.  Mine’s shaping up to be insane in the membrane.  I think I’ll need a dip in a hot tub by the time the sun goes down.  Anyone have a hot tub they’re willing to share?  Let me know.  Have suit, will travel.  Anywho, hope your weekends are filled with joy and hand holding, if you’re into that.  Try being into it, if you’re not, by the way.  You’re talking to a happy convert.

xoxo!

Alison


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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.

* * *

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

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

* * *

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

This:

… 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.  ;)

xoxo!

Alison

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DETAIL LOVE ❦ Looks + Styling + Props ❦ Details for the Perfectly Pretty Engagement Shoot or Wedding!

↑ Dripping Dew Necklace

↑ Gold Dust Chemise

But first, a story…

Over the weekend, the boy and I went into town and had some breakfast, because eating’s important.  As we were walking back, we saw on our right this adorable little dessert table set up on the sidewalk.  It was a tiny little bake sale, and there were two cute young moms manning the post.  We had passed it on our way to breakfast, and it had smelled de-li-cious, so I was like, yay it’s still there!  Brownies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes… everything.  You name it.  Oh how I love mini mommy bake sales on the sidewalk in Park Slope!

Anyway, for no reason at all as is so often the case with me, I found myself walking a little bit ahead of the fiancé, and passed by the table first on our way back home.  So, in that moment of realizing that my tendency to walk faster than the average bear and my lack of awareness of or concern for those with whom I’m supposedly walking had struck again, I turned around just in time to see the boy abruptly jerk his head up towards the ladies and stare at one of them with an “I totally heard that” look on his face.  This caused the two women to erupt in embarrassed laughter.

The whole thing was peculiar, and I was soooo curious about what had happened.  I slowed down to join him again – seriously, this happens so often, I really need to get a handle on my speed walking (some of my strolling partners have been known to become noticeably out of breath) – Anyway, I slowed down, and when we were again side by side, I asked him wussup.

ME: “Wussup?”

FIANCÉ: “She said ‘eat my cookie.’”

She said EAT MY COOKIE.  A Park Slope bake sale mommy said “eat my cookie” essentially to my fiancé.  It was stupendous.  How freaking scandalous is that?!!  I wish things like this happened more often.  Especially in Park Slope.  I should have gotten her number so we could share childhood stories and stay out really late, like, ’til 10:30pm or something outrageous like that.  And then hold mini bake sales during which we hit on unwitting young men whose fiancées are walking waaaaaaay ahead of them and so they appear to be fair game.  Ooooohhhh I think I just stumbled upon my dream way to spend the summer.

Anyway, back to reality.  In celebration of this rare, weird event, I present to you – because free association rules the roost here – the most perfect little ceramic cookie jar from Anthropologie!  Also, its friends, Tools and Biscuits jars.  And everything else I love at Anthro right now that I think would make for a beautifully styled e-session (or wedding)… from fashion to dishtowels to table decoration.  Here we go!

↑ Ceramic Cookie Jar

↑ Provencal Canisters

Birds on a Wire Dinnerware

↑ Francophile Dinnerware

↑ Milkmaid Butter Dish

↑ Mina Tablecloth & Napkin

↑ Coffee & Cake Dishtowel

↑ Ant’s Art Apron 2

↑ Plucked Petals Measuring Cups

↑ Mr. & Mrs. Shakers

↑ Rushing Whirlpool Tumbler

↑ Fleur de Lys

↑ Stripey Straws + Castle Key Bottle Opener

↑ Opalescent Tumbler

↑ Fleur Recipe Cards + Coral Branches Measuring Spoons

Secret Passageway Cuff + Mined Leaf Earrings

↑ Beach Bounty Necklace

↑ Carved Tears Peep-Toes

↑Botanical Stroll Dress

↑ Condensation Necklace

Just wondering, have you heard about Anthro’s plans for a bridal line?

Also, check out my dress picks from Lulu’s for the stylish bride in need of a fab e-session frock!

Aaaaaand the prettiest picks from Reiss’ newest collection!

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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}

* * *

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!

xoxo

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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!

* * *

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 Ban.do‘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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Dress Lovin’ ❦ OMG I WANT YOUR DRESS, YOU HOT TAMALE

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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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.

(Whoa.)

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

Damaris Faroux bra/knickers ~ catrionamackechnie.com.

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.

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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.

17.

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.

Credits:

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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♡ WEDDING PARTY ♡ Third Installment ♡ ……MORE VERA, FROM THE RUNWAY……

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!

Alison

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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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VALENTINE’S DAY + NIGHT ~ YOUR LOOK… gorgeous glitz for a glamorous neck and face ~ My Favorite Accessories for February 14th

Maybe you’ve got a hot date this Valentine’s Day.  Do ya?  Or maybe you and your honey have extra-special plans for this fast approaching day of lovers.  Yeah, you know what I’m driving at.

… I’m referring to a nice, intimate dinner at home, followed by some innocent cuddling.  You dirty girl.

If it’s neither the first nor the second, then maybe you simply live for deliciously dainty design.  Yeah?  Then we’re soul sistas in that respect.  Now, whatever you’re doing for Valentine’s Day, one thing is for sure: you’re going to look fabulous no matter what you wear.

… But adding some fun and flirty flash to rev up your chosen duds certainly couldn’t hurt, am I right?  I’m right.  I know that, for me, an extra-lovely, slightly sparkly touch of jewelry always serves to brighten my outlook when it’s just one of those days when the threads and the blush just aren’t enough.

Enter: Anthropologie

Gleaming Loops Headband

Double Torsade Necklace, in turquoise

Double Torsade Necklace, in coral

I love EVERYTHING they’ve got right now.  It’s a problem.

From The Treetops Necklace

They even have a special section for V-Day.  (That’s where I found all of this yumminess <– I love that word; wonder who coined it.  I thought I made it up until a few months ago.  That was a disappointing day.)


Gossamer Gemma Necklace

That’s-A-Wrap Necklace

*Sigh.  If I was a rich girl… na na na na na na na na na na na na na na nah.

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