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

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

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

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

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

{Photos: Stephanie Williams}

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

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

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

↑ Love, right?  Deets to follow ↑

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

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

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

Lynx & Leo Dress

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

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

Jackie Paper Dress

-♡-

Item #1:

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

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

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

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

And it’s photo booth BACKDROP INSPIRATION!  Behoooold:

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

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

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

Here’s the skinny from the source:

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

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

See?  It’s all about giving great face.

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

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

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

How freaking brilliant is all of that.  Smilebooth rules.

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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*Submit your proposal story!*

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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


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

* * *

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

-♡-

Your children are not your children.

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

They come through you but not from you,

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

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

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

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

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

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

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

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

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

~ Kahlil Gibran

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

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

* * *

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

Ok, let’s get going!

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Now… Check. Out. This. Cake spread.

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

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

Seriously.

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

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

A few words from Kate Harrison:

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

Sorry, science cookies, coming right up:

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

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

More on that loveliness in a few…

PROPOSAL STORY SUBMISSIONS

(Note: stories still being accepted)

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

* * *

MARKETING & FIANCÉS

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

THINGS WITH WHICH I’M OBSESSED, PART DEUX

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

And a lil more…

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

-♡-

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

Yep, he took this shot:

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

-♡-

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

-♡-

Watermelon Moon Farm- Lebanon

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

Watermelon Moon farmJoy Thigpen EnvironmentsOncewedLiz AgricolaB. Hughes

-♡-

Details- Part II

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now for some serious detail action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(… Uh-oh…)

* * *

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

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

* * *

Ok, here’s the money shot!


WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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

Ok, on to the main event…

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

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

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | June 4 | perfect gowns, hippie chicness, sparkle-town, DIY desserts + the coolest favors EVER

Hello and happy Friday, everybody!  How we doin’ today, eh?  Doin’ well?  I sure hope so.  The weekend is upon us, so that means fun in the sun if all goes according to plan.  Anyone have any interesting plans for the ol’ Sat-to-Sun?  Me, I kinda feel like hiking again.  You discover really cool things when you hike, like wedding venues.  Yeah, totally serious.  The boy and I plan to re-scope out this random beautiful joint upon which we stumbled while on a hike just north of the city a couple of weekends ago.  I shall report back once the verdict on its quality is in.  (:

Anywho, while we continue working out our server switcheroonie, as some of you have coined it (which I love and have now adopted), I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring some seriously fabulous finds I managed to scoop up this week.  So, here we go!

First up, a few killer details from one seriously UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE wedding, as photographed by – who else – Max Wanger, and featured on 100 Layer Cake.  Le sigh.  I shall dream about this beach wedding forever and always.  Its colors, textures and characters (of the human sort) are the stuff of inspiration shoots, not real-life weddings.  So this rocks it to the fullest.  And by the way, PERSONALIZED BEACH TOWEL FAVORS ALERT!

Bridesmaids gowns: Rachel Pally

You wanna know where they got those rad beach towels, right?  Well, their Dutch artist friend Parra designed them; the invites, too.  And here’s where they got the towels made.  You’re welcome.

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Ok, this wedding featured on Style Me Pretty straight-up-now-tell-me blew me away.  But most weddings involving horses (not pictured here) tend to blow me away, because, I mean, how did they get horses involved in their wedding?  You know?  It seems so involved.  Do these people own horses?  Do they find a horse – I dunno, farm, and shoot there so that it looks like horses attended their wedding?  Does the New York Times write, “the wedding was well-attended; also, they had horses” because you can’t ignore the horse-factor.  It’s a huge factor.  It’s the elephant at the wedding, essentially.  (Can you tell that I’m up way past my bedtime right now?  It gets crazier and crazier.)

By the way, obsessed with the bouquet.  Obsessed.  It’s sort of EXACTLY RIGHT.

Not to mention zee shoes:

Photography: Aaron Delesie

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My good friend Melissa, of The Loveliest Day, made quite a stir in her new role blogging for Ruffled with one seriously sparkle-rific wedding dress… and not to mention super hunky groom.  Super.  Hunky.  (Massive congrats, Melissa!  Sooo freaking awesome.)  Here’s a lil taste of the fabulosity that awaits you.

Credits, courtesy of Ruffled:

Ceremony Venue: University of Western Australia / Reception Venue: Table 78 Restaurant / Photographer: Anna Rose Photography / Bride’s Dress: Rachel Gilbert / Bridesmaids Dresses: Gown Gallery / Flowers: Code Bloom / Cake: Choux Cafe / Celebrant: Jenny Carkeek / Rentals: Perth Outdoor Ceremonies

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Coveting the incredibly laid-back but terrifically chic style of this bang-sporting bride.  And just LOOK at that sassy feather statement necklace she’s got on!!  Does it NOT fit perfectly with that gown?  J’adore.  Plus, you guys know how much I love a good bang!  Hair, we’re talking hair.  (… But I like the other kind, too, obvs.)

Photography: Laura Heffington / Oregon Beach Wedding featured on OnceWed, who discovered it on Frolic

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DIY dessert time!  Comin’ atcha face: How ’bout a cupcake in a jar?

The steps involved make me so want to do this project.

I don’t know about you, but for me, a red velvet cupcake + a mason jar = the cutest, tastiest thing possible.  I am loving this as wedding favors, especially with the spoons tied to the jars with – my favorite – baker’s twine!  Most of you know I have a love affair with the stuff.  (Yes, it’s under control now.)  I found this awesomeness over on With This Ring, and she found it, plus instructions on cakies blog!

Here’s the supplies list, courtesy of cakies, if you’re interested in trying your hand at these babies:

- round stickers (I did have to cut them down a bit to make it fit the top)

Pay a visit to cakies for the red velvet recipe!

Ooh, one more thing… you see the chic young lady at the tippy top of this post?  Well, her name’s Andi, and she has a blog.  On that blog, she posted the musical stylings of the fabulous Diane Birch, and I just seriously have to share this with all of you, if you haven’t already heard of her.  Because she’s a whole lotta wonderful.


Ok, I get that these are some pretty REDONK finds I’ve got here today.  They may in fact be so fabulous that deciding on a favorite is super way hard.  But whatev who cares – I really wanna know so I’m still asking.  (:

So, do tell: which of these is/are most inspiring to YOU?  Lemme know.  I can’t wait to hear!!!

(Hope you have a terrific weekend!)

xoxo!  -Alison

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DIY WEDDING MADE EASY | free designs for your diy desires | My Favorite Picks! (Plus a crazy update regarding the site & GoDaddy servers…)

Ok, before I get into what the above is all about, I just wanna say that I really hope everyone had themselves super enjoyable/rewarding/relaxing Memorial Day weekends!  For the most part, the weather ’round here was ridiculously gorgeous, and it seemed pretty hard not to have a good time, regardless of what we were doing.  In fact, just stepping outside made my day.  Though playing a little tennis and getting half my body into a pool certainly didn’t hurt matters.  What does that mean?  That means that I was faced with frigid pool waters, and I was the only one – among numerous children – who could not get my body to dip past the belly button point.  What I had always believed to be the most difficult body part to submerge, the “undercarriage,” was already safely tucked beneath the icy surf.  But the water remained intolerable.  Mind you, six-year-olds with arm floaties were all around me, having a collective ball.  And I’m sure none of them quite understood or cared about what I was going through.  I seriously hung there, perched with my ass beneath the water line.  Oh, the shame.  (For the record, it was really, really cold.)

But I did push the fiancé in the pool about five times.  That was awesome.  Mainly because I always waited until his body had warmed sufficiently to make the cold water startling again.  Good times!!  (;

Anyway, y’all know how much I love Martha Stewart, right?  Well, it’s almost as much as I love southern dialects.  But seriously, I cherish Martha Stewart Weddings for all the DIY goodies and inspiration the resource always has to offer.  So I decided to sort through it all and I’ve collected a hefty bunch of my favorites for your consideration.  I hope you love!

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So, you see those jam jars up top?  Ok, well I am OBSESSED with their lid labels.  Completely obsessed.  Jam jars are such a popular idea for weddings these days, and these labels are my current favorite way to top them!  Get the clip art here!

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo!  -Alison

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

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WIDESPREAD PROBLEMS WITH GODADDY’S SERVERS

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

Can you stand it?

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til later!

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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.

xoxo!

Alison

P.S. – Let me know your favorite(s)!

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

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

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

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

So…

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

* * *

Thanks, I look forward to working with you!

Coming up…

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

That’s up next, BOYYYYEEEE.

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OMG | The Wedding Chicks Talked About Me.

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

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

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

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part I { CAKE LOVE } Wedding Cake Inspiration Tool!

I found this tool on Brides.com and it entertained me so much, that I just had to share it with you guys.  {Let me know what YOU think of it!}

If you’ve been struggling to figure out the perfect color combination and design for your wedding cake, here’s a nifty little solution.  It’s not unlike those sites that let you upload your face to test haircuts – which, by the way, are woefully unhelpful and really serve only to make you think you have an oddly-shaped head… unless you totally don’t know what I’m talking about, which would render me someone who has an oddly-shaped head.  Oh dear.

Anyway, the tool, aptly named “Create-a-Cake,” allows you to whip up a cake prototype (that’s probably a bit too technical-sounding for wedding cakes, but I can’t think of anything else so whatever), and you can even print it out to show your baker!  It’s real handy, and I like it.  Heck, even if you’re not planning a wedding, it’s kind of a lot of fun to play around with the colors and decorations.

As you can see here, I was (unwittingly at the time) craving a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Or wedding cake.

Notice how I spelled out T-K-B?  Yeah, I took a little longer than I should have on that.  Oh the life of a detail-oriented person.  What am I saying, I LOVE BEING THAT WAY. :)

Click the Create-A-Cake image below to start creating!

Credit: Brides.com

Ooh, and stay tuned for more Fab Finds, silly goose!  That’s what my niece and nephew call me.  If we all insulted each other the way very young children do, I think the world would be a slightly better place.  Slightly better.

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‘BRIDAL PARTY’ LOVE ❦ A Bridal Shower Inspired by Gossip Girl [Minus All the Biotches]

When I saw this on Hostess with the Mostess, I started trembling.

It is kind of the most awesome thing I’ve seen, and I’ve seen tons of things.  Not to mention – and I’m a little unsure of whether or not I should admit this, but – I’ve never even seen the show Gossip Girl.

Oh, I’ve HEARD about it – from pretty much every single one of my girlfriends.  And it sounds fabulous.  Honestly, at this point, I don’t know what’s stopping me.  I do have a couple of ideas, however.  First, having been through high school once, I see no reason to relive it.  That could be just me – though I have a feeling it’s a good 89% of all of you, too.  Second, it could be related to the drive that has kept my ears bereft of holes all these years; it started out with indifference but, over time, has morphed into what can best be described as a silent, pointless, yet unwavering rebellion.

Anywho, if this shower speaks at all of what I can expect out of Gossip Girl set design, well then hello CW, I may have been wrong about you.

And get a load of the spread, my friends.  Not too shabby.  Just add a plate of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and I’m in heaven.

Now, for my favorite bits…

First, say hello to the espresso macarons w/ chocolate ganache:

And check out these totally cute dessert balls (they’re either petit fours w/ preserves and swiss buttercream, or individual strawberry cheesecakes, but I couldn’t tell you which):

And, last but not least, the blueberry and cheddar-chive scones:

There were games, too!  The girls learned just how well they know their friend, Lily, by filling out this absolutely darling questionnaire, entitled “How Well Do You Know the Bride?”  Reminds me of a similar bridal shower trivia game I posted back in January…

Go check out the rest of this fabulous festivity (it’s a two-parter) here and here!

Credits + Resources, courtesy of HWTM:
Event Design & Planning: The Special Day, Carolyn Chen
Photography: Jan Garcia Photography
Catering & Desserts: The Dotted Apron
Florals: Mille Fiori
Linens: Wildflower Linen

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! ♕ Soda Pop, Sweets, DIY Treats, a Touch of Fashion, Two Creative Couples and a Gumball Machine…

Let’s get right to it, no weird stuff…

Six killer heels for your footsies, from J.Crew

Sweet pink macaron pops, by Tartelette

DIY Soda Pop Escort Cards, by Mika 78, via 100 Layer Cake

Engagement shoot enchantment, by Emily of Borrowed Blue Old New, via 100 Layer Cake

A Paper Flower Favor Box Brooch, & Getting an A on Your E-Session

{ By the talented Kristen Magee of Paper Crave & Maddy Hague of Inspired Bride }

Loveliness, from Priscilla of Boston

… Aaaand just a wee bit more soda pop love, via Imprintables

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