PARTY SHOES | Martha Stewart Weddings Party and Bridal Market Shoe Spotlight!

Ok, so Martha’s Bridal Market Celebration last night was off the chain.  And, first and foremost, I’d like to personally thank Martha and the gorgeous ladies of Martha Stewart Weddings for scheduling last night’s shindig between the hours of 6 and 10pm.  You know the way to a girl’s heart on a Monday night.   {Continue reading…}

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

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

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

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

Look.  At those.  Shoes. ↓

{ Photography: Sarah Yates // via Yes Bride }

Find Number 2 is on its way!  Sit tight…

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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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I ♥ THESE LOOKS | Little White Dresses & Accessories for Your E-Session

I love fashion.  Now, I’m not one of those people who’s obsessed with it – ok I’m obsessed with it.  However, somehow I happen to be one of those extremely rare types who gushes over sleek, sexy cocktail dresses, dies for that perfectly embellished belt, and all the rest… but rarely if ever actually buys anything.  I have my Dad to thank for that.  That’s called genetic code, and my Dad invented the “save your money” chromosome (or whatever; I wasn’t a biology major).  He isn’t cheap, not at all, but he DOES NOT BELIEVE IN DISCRETIONARY INCOME.  Some of you may be thinking this is a good trait; that I’m lucky.  You think I’m lucky to be a born saver?  Tell that to my wardrobe.  Tell that to my three pairs of shoes.  Tell that to my “Winner” Brand black sneakers I got in 7th grade, because my Dad didn’t “understand why you need the Nike ones?  These are just as good.”  Yeah, you know who you can tell that to?  Each and every member of my 7th grade French class.  Because they all had a lot to say about those kicks and it didn’t have anything to do with how right my dad was.

As an aside, I learned something from my brand-less K-12 existence: when I have children, I will teach them to be good people, and I will not spoil the crap out of them.  But I WILL give them name brand clothing if they ask for it.  You may consider that a bad idea, but a little less suffering in those formative years never hurt anybody.  *The more you know.*

I digress… back to fashion love.  Sometimes… there comes along an accessory.  An accessory that reduces all other accessories to cheap whores, and makes me click “buy” without hesitation.  (Ok, without much hesitation.)   This accessory would need to be the perfect combination of absolute cuteness, real necessity and bang for your buck.  Enter: the belts and dresses within this post.  OMG.

See that belt up at the tippity top of this post?  That’s Ruche‘s wrap around a rose belt in swiss coffee, and it’s only $19.99.  I KNOW.  Here’s another shot of it:

I am obsessed with that belt, and even more with the ones that follow.  Any one of these is THE PERFECT ACCESSORY to add that extra bit of awesome to your little e-shoot sundress or wedding gown or what have you.  I’m always thinking about what will result in the best possible photos, and belts knock ‘em out of the park, without fail, my friends.  Anthro dresses have never done me wrong, either.  Here we go with the rest of my picks:

These belts restore my love for frilly floweryness.  (Not that it ever really left me, but I get fed up easily with frilly floweryness.  Only so much one can take.)

ruffles and frays flower belt in smokey gray $13.99

ruffles and frays flower belt in rosey pink ~ $13.99

symmetrically pleased belt in pure ivory white ~ $19.99

And my toes are really chilly right now because these two dresses from Anthro are knocking my socks clean off my feet.  I love them soooooo much.

Sure Lock Dress ~ $128

Camilla Dress ~ $138

Do you love, or do you love?

* * *

By the way, yesterday was my Dad’s birthday.  Which means my present to him is complaining about a specific childhood experience to the world, one that completely goes against the incredible father he is to me.  Aren’t I just the greatest daughter?!

Dad: I love you, man.  You are terrific… so terrific that it makes me tear up when I think about just how terrific.  That’s pretty terrific.  Happy birthday, Popsicle.

xoxo,

Alison

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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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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.

.

.

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

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

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

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

That’s a headboard.

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

Umm.  Love.

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

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

Photo credit: SimplyBloom Photography

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♡ 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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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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Today’s Wedding Hair Award: Party in the Front!

Have you decided what you’ll be doing with your hair on your wedding day?  If you have, and today is not your wedding day, then kudos, I am impressed.  Keep reading only if you have not decided on your wedding day hair, you like pretty pictures, or you’re a stickler for finishing what you’ve started.  (Good for you; what are we without our idiosyncratic principles?)

Okay, so here’s the deal:

I have yet to decide how I’ll be wearing my hair the day of my wedding.  No, it’s not okay.  It’s a problem.

And it doesn’t help that everyone advises me differently.

For a while, I’ve been pretty certain that I’d like to wear it down, you know, the wavy look.  You’ve seen it on The Hills, and probably Baywatch (I think I’m dating myself for the first time with that reference).  It’s that beach babe look.  Here it is, on a celebrity:

Paltrow wavy hair

Anyway, some photographer friends of mine have said it’s a mistake to wear your hair down.  Okay, in some cases I can see that.  No amount of Extra Hold hairspray is going to help you on the edge of a cliff.  But in most other situations, I just don’t see the problem with letting my hair down!  Well, according to them, there’s an inevitable point during the reception, a certain tipping point of sorts, when a bride’s hair will go rogue and begin to look stringy in photos.  They did not say “may,” they said “will.”  So, apparently, to wear my hair down is to risk certain death… of my wedding photos.  Because half of those taken at my reception will be unusable due to my flyaway, homeless-looking wreck of a do.

Well, during a visit to The Wedding Chicks blog today, I caught a glimpse of a seriously great wedding photographer.  So, if you’re still out there searching for your wedding photographer, I strongly recommend checking out the swoon-worthy work of Denise Bovee.

Now back to the matter at hand.  My hair.  Hehe.  It’s IMPORTANT!

But seriously, it is.

No, seriously.

There have been only a handful of times so far in my wedding planning when I’ve seen an updo that could overtake wavy look‘s significant lead.

That takes us to some photos, taken by Bovee, of what a good hair day looks like…

Loose updo on a lovely blonde bride {image by Denise Bovee}

It's a style that looks both down and up! {image by Denise Bovee}

Loose updo coy shot, image by Denise Bovee

Aww.  Just darling. {image by Denise Bovee}

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