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

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

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

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

Bridesmaids gowns: Rachel Pally

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

-♡-

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

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

Not to mention zee shoes:

Photography: Aaron Delesie

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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

-♡-

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

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

-♡-

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

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

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

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

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

Pay a visit to cakies for the red velvet recipe!

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


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

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

(Hope you have a terrific weekend!)

xoxo!  -Alison

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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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♡ 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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DESSERT TABLE INSPIRATION | look what I sniffed out! | This is Not Your Mother’s Viennese Table…

On a visit to Chic Florals & Events, while scrolling down the page I suddenly caught sight of something I knew I had seen before, elsewhere.  I remember totally loving it but, of course, whenever that first time was, I had been distracted by some other bit of loveliness elsewhere, and left it behind.  Well, thankfully I stumbled upon it once again, and no way is it getting left in my dust this time.  It’s just too pretty, too chic, and too great an idea to risk forgetting about all over again.

How sharp does that look?  There’s something so incredibly exquisite about this idea… and while I can’t speak for all dessert cheese tables, I’ll risk it and say that if you set up a smartly chosen arrangement of low-stink factor milky delights, and label those suckers in such a way as has been done here by the amazing Maybelle Imasa-stukuls, I’d say you’ve got a guaranteed hit on your hands.  And why’s that?

… Because people LOVE CHEESE.  And the only thing people love more than cheese is cheese spread across a slice of baguette.

Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers styled and snapped this loveliness for a guest blog post on The Bride’s Guide with Darcy Miller, Martha Stewart’s wedding blog.

The objective, in Karen’s words: “we decided to create a dessert cheese table—very much in the French fashion—using a rustic chic look for décor, staying within the given color palette of cream and white.”

By the way, adding comb honey to the tablescape is a magnificent idea, if you ask me.  Not only is it easy on the eyes (who hasn’t stared at that captivating little jar of tightly packed honeycomb, just waiting for a good reason to buy it?), but spread on bread or paired with a strong cheese, it’s one heck of a treat for the palate.  Your guests will LOVE it!

Credits:

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS + VALENTINE’S DAY INSPIRED GOODNESS | ladies in red | Engagement Sessions with Love Tones…

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday (!!!) and if it’s chilly in your neck of the woods, you might find yourself challenged in the cute outfit department.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Just throw on a simple red scarf like Katie did in her engagement session with Marianne Taylor of Marianne Taylor Photography, and watch your entire look go from ho-hum to va va voom!

But then again, maybe the chill factor isn’t as much of an issue for you.  If that’s the case, then I envy you, but more importantly I have the most beautiful engagement session to share with you, which I discovered – where else – on the always inspiring Style Me Pretty.  The stunning photography is by lunaphoto, and while it may be a little too nippy out there, even in Cali, how could I NOT bring this loveliness to your eyes…

Photo credits:

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VINTAGE INSPIRED LOOKS + WIN A FREE ENGAGEMENT SESSION! | vintage wedding inspiration | Don’t Forget the Oranges!

Have you heard about this?  I got sooo excited when I learned of it – Heather and Kimberly announced on LA Style Unveiled that the amazing Jill Thomas of Jill Thomas Photography is offering one seriously lucky couple a Free Engagement Session!

Not only can you win a free engagement session with Jill Thomas, but first prize also includes a style and design consult for the session courtesy of Amorology Weddings.  Woweewawa!

So, what do I have to do, Alison?

Well, do you have any oranges handy?

Because all you need to do is send in a photo of yourself with those oranges, and describe what a “perfect date” would be for you and your beloved.  (I love contests like this; so heartwarming and fun, and this one in particular makes me dream about my recent trip to California!)

It all ends this Sunday on Valentine’s Day, so visit LA Style Unveiled for more details!

Now, here’s some more of Jill’s brilliant work to get you inspired…

I LOVE the hankies!!!  What a fabulous touch.  You could even embroider your own for a truly personalized look!

I adore the vintage inspired threads worn by the lovely ladies in this shoot.  Their ensembles lend to the romantic, delicate feel of the shoot.

***

I love the style of dress in these photographs so much, that I’ve gathered up a few looks from – where else – Anthro, that I thought might help you to complete the look.

Pictureshow Dress” by Anthro

Or may I suggest this fitted sweater, also from Anthro – called the “Small Packages Cardi,” layered over a simple chemise:

Layered History Chemise” by Anthro

Vanilla Bean Blouse

Hidden Hue Blouse

Though this “Optimist Dress” isn’t necessarily very close to the looks achieved in Thomas’ shoot, I fell in love with it and had to share:

List of vendors, courtesy of LA Style Unveiled:

Photography: Jill Thomas

Event design: Amorology Weddings
Florals: Twigg Botanicals
Hair: Kami Christensen
Hair/makeup: Kami Christensen and Paige Christensen
Wardrobe styling: Jill Thomas and Ben Bhristensen
Wardrobe: second hand, vintage, and anthropologie
Paper elements: Brightly Designed
Cakes: Flour and Flower
Boutonnieres: Peppermint Cloud
Hair pieces : Feathers and Frills
Bow ties: Me and Matilda

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FOOD & DRINK | wedding inspiration | Striped Paper Straws Are So Cute, Especially Inside of Specialty Soda Pop!

So, as usual, I was looking for more really cute, chic details for my upcoming nuptials, and I think I’ve found yet another one worth sharing.

Striped paper straws.  A crowd favorite, dating all the way back to childhood.  I can’t be the only one who blew bubbles in my chocolate milk when a wee babe.  I’m totally invested (mentally, we’ll see about budget-ly) in these cutie-patooties.

I found those super cute ones above over at Design is Mine, and I didn’t just get excited, I pretty much flipped out.  After this long, it still amazes me how aggressively the adrenaline within me can race throughout my body the moment I see something as insignificant as a paper straw.  I think it has something to do with all the colors and choices.  If there’s one thing I love, it is having options.  (They are also my downfall; I am indecisive as a rule.  But we all love the things that are not the best for us, so I’d say that makes me normal.  At least… that’s what I tell myself when I go to bed at night.)  Anyway, I choose not to question it.  Especially since, when I go with it, I always end up in my happy place!

It might interest you to know that the person responsible for the photographic bliss above is food/prop stylist Paul Lowe, and it might interest you even more to know that he has an incredibly addictive blog, called Sweet Paul.  Oh, how I heart him.

***

Okay, so we’ve established one fact so far: paper straws rule.  Especially colorful, striped ones.  But now we need something deserving of said straws, right?  How about THIS…

Want to get your hands on some colorful pop for your big day?  Project Wedding – which is where I found the awesomeness immediately above – suggests BevMo.  Located in CA, they’ve got a wide selection of these super cute specialty sodas (and if you don’t live in CA, you can buy ‘em online – gotta love the internet).  You can also check in your local gourmet food shop for these uniquely joyful-looking drinks.  So, they’re around!  You just may have to do a little searching depending on where you’re located.  :)

***

Next are some awesome pics by Cindy Ensley, which I discovered via the lovely Audrey of Urbanic + Parcel Post.  (My original description of Audrey involved “the pretty paper pusher,” but I thought it made her sound like some sort of fetish drug dealer, which seemed like a bad thing.  So “the lovely” it is.  And lovely, you are, Audrey!)

I know, SO cute.  Word on the ‘net is that you can find these babies over at Kikkerland.  It’s a great source for stuff like this; I visit the place quite a bit.  Not to mention, pretty much everyone I credited within this here post suggests the same.  Aside from Kikkerland, you can check out Pipii’s Marketplace, which carries the exact same brand.

In other news, check out Cindy’s save the dates -

Absolutely darling, wouldn’t you agree?  And totally DIY-licious.  You’ll probably be familiar with her supplies -  she used one of Martha’s punch sets, kraft paper (you already know the feelings I have for kraft paper), some AWESOME rubber stamps and white embossing powder.  See, all it takes are a few simple tools, and a lot of imagination and creativity!

Okay, just one more pretty picture of my new love:

Found these cherry red beauties over on Jordan Ferney’s Oh Happy Day! I’m sure you could figure out a way to work those stunners into a Valentine’s Day party, or even better, a love-themed wedding.  Though that’s what all weddings should be themed. Oh sappy me; that’s just how I like to end things.  On a sap note!

Seacrest out.

~A

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WEDDING THEME IDEAS | in the spirit of the superbowl (stay with me)…

In honor of the Superbowl (currently playing on our flat screen as I begin writing, which should reveal my level of interest), I thought I’d throw a few ideas on a theme your way…

(That was the tamest image I could find by googling the words “football” and “woman.”  Don’t even try it with “girl.”  *Sigh.*)

.

Okay, first, you’ll need to answer a few quick questions to determine if this post is really for you.  Here we go:

Does your man love the football?  Are you planning your wedding?  If that’s two affirmatives, then I have a three-part question for you; answer ‘Yes’ to any of these three parts, and you might love this post…

Do you love football, too / Are you just looking for any stunt that’ll get your man more interested and involved in the wedding planning / Are you having a really, really laid back celebration?  If there’s a yes in there somewhere, then it’s quite possible that this post is tailor-made for you!

***

To start, there’s your football-themed wedding cake topper.  Not bad, not bad at all.  Want it?  Find it here.  For other cake topper ideas – much less kitschy, much more cutesy – take a look at one of my most popular posts thus far, FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | lovely + fun cake toppers | Wow, I Actually LIKE These…

Moving right along… let’s talk food.  (Yay!)  One thing I can get behind, no matter what, is a good ol’ fashioned pig-in-a-blanket (err, mini hot dog – same difference).  I apologize to the sticklers out there, really, I’m sorry, but I’m so a fan of this tastiest of finger foods.  And just look at this arrangement we have below!  Three de-freakin’-licious looking appetizer suggestions, plus one questionable but most likely thirst-quenching boozy drink idea (beer margaritas?  I was thinking the same thing), all geared towards a fantastic Superbowl get-together.  So, why not your wedding, too?

I found the above over at the always inspiring Hostess with the Mostess, who credits them to Everyday at Rachael Ray.

Offer those mouth-watering comfort foods, not to mention the booze, during your cocktail hour, and your friends and relatives will thank you for inviting them to your wedding and mean it.  Not to mention the effect it could have on all of the men who got dragged along by your currently single girlfriends or cousins (men who don’t yet know how cool you and your hubby-to-be are).  You can imagine how pleasantly surprised said bachelors will be when they realize the sheer amount of joy a man can experience… at a wedding.  Women everywhere will thank you, for doing your part, however unwittingly, to make at least one man out there a little bit more comfortable with the idea of getting married.  WOW what a tangent.

***

Next up: DESSERT.

Want to sink your teeth into those tantalizing treats?  The spirited cuppies were created for Celebrations by Jeanne Benedict, and featured on Hostess with the Mostess.

Oh how sweet it is.  You know what’s great about dessert?  I mean besides everything?  When it comes to football-themed-wedding-appropriate dessert, the only thing footbally about it will be the appearance.  Oh yes, it may look like a football, but that cupcake is not going to taste like a football.  It’s going to taste like a moist, sugary, delicious cupcake.  And it will be AWESOME.

So, what the heck.  I can support this.  :)


***

Photo credits: Pin-up illustration; The Chanel Football by Karl Lagerfeld ($195 at select Chanel boutiques – no joke)

~                         ~                         ~

Tomorrow, it’s back to the super pretty, super fun Valentine’s Day Inspired Goodness – and boy do I have some things to show you!!  Plus – loads of truly incredible wedding inspiration.  (Seriously, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many photos I flipped through this weekend.)

Talk soon!

Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS meets + falls for + procreates with VALENTINE’S DAY INSPIRED GOODNESS! Part I ~ Meet their free printable ♥ edible ♥ inspirational ♥ and occasionally totally random babies!

Cute, huh?  I’ll get to these in a minute…

***

Instead, let’s start with the loveliest free printable V-Day postcard you’ve ever seen.  I’m assuming.  Because this is pretty freakin’ lovely, and I haven’t been this ticked by a postcard picture in YEARS.  Thank you, Wedding Chicks, for this masterpiece theater!  Go get it here!

Love this one too, also from the oh so fabulous Wedding Chicks…

Smashing prop use and graphic design, wouldn’t you say?  Absolutely smashing.

***

Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze, from – you guessed it – momma Martha!

Click here to get the full recipe!

I love the heck out of these magnificent photographs, taken by the incredible Caroline Tran, whose stunning work I’ve featured in the past

Want some more dessert food?  I was hoping you’d ask… I’ve got you covered.  How ’bout some cream-filled chocolate cupcakes?  Courtesy of – who else?  That’s right… Martha!

These teeny little sweet, shy Valentine buddies, by joojooland on Etsy, are THE CUTEST THING I NEVER NEEDED BUT LOVE…

Yup, also available in penguin.  :)

Snails, too.

In my nephew’s words: oohhh, sa’kyooot!

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*VALENTINE’S DAY INSPIRED GOODNESS* { D1, P1 } | DIY projects ♥ tutorials ♥ freebies ♥ treats for a blissful and beautiful ‘love day’

As announced on Twitter, we’re doing a Countdown to Valentine’s Day Tour, right here within the confines of this bloggity blog blog.  So, less a tour, per se, more a countdown to Valentine’s Day.  But all the same to you, right?  What?  Just get to the project?  Oh… oh okay.  Here you go…

So, I am madly in love with this little V-Day inspired project from Molly of The Purl Bee!

Valentine’s Day approaches, and I don’t have to tell you which flower is practically synonymous with that holiday.  So, what could be better than rose barrettes?  They’re pretty adorable, and I think they’d be quite a chic addition to any little kiddo’s otherwise drab V-Day ensemble.  You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.  (Even if you don’t think you are, you will be, trust me.  My sister’s little girl wears THE CUTEST OUTFITS ON EARTH, and my sister – hey, Jen! – is and has always been the polar opposite of what one would call a “girlie girl.”  Go figure.

When I have a little girl, she’ll be wearing felt barrettes that I made with my bare hands and she’ll LIKE IT.

So, here’s what you’ll need for this project, as advised by Molly:

-One Wool Felt Bundle in Spice
-Embroidery Thread to match the felt
-8 snap clip barrettes, available at most drug stores, or online here
-One Rose Barrette Pattern available for free download (on her site), printed and cut out

Molly gives you a step by step tutorial over at The Purl Bee ~ be sure to check it out so you can get crackin’ on these cuties!

I can totally see one of these barrettes atop the precious little noggin of a flower girl.  Or even an arrangement of four or five in a row, creating a kind of homemade head wreath!  Oooohh that would be too cute for words.  I would LOVE to see a picture of that in action!

I totally have those clips, you probably do, too.  Everybody had those growing up!

I’d love to see how these turn out, my darling readers.  If you decide to try your hand at this project, you MUST send a shot to theknottybride {@} gmail {dot} com!

Alright, more Valentine’s Day inspired goodness to come!

{ Project and photos by Molly, of The Purl Bee }

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JUST PEACHY | wedding photos ripe with color + inspiration ~ in the key of peach | This is Kind of My Perfect Wedding Palette!

My fiancé loves peaches.  Really, really loves them.  Not alone, oddly, but inside of things.  Like, inside of my peach and blueberry pie, for instance.  I don’t blame him… the pie is delicious.  I would go on about the pie and how much he loves it, but I risk getting mired in an unsavory realm of double entendre here, so I’ll just leave it at that.

When I came across these photos within the post Peach Wedding Ideas on Once Wed, I was struck by two pretty wonderful things.

The first was that my fiancé loves peaches (in his own weird way but still…) and the second, well the second was that I LOVE THESE COLORS.

A girl (like me) constantly dreams of developing or discovering the perfect theme or idea that meets two very important criteria: loveliness, and a reflection of our likes and personalities.

Jackpot?  Wedding theme chosen?  We’ll see.  I do ADORE the florals, and dig the idea of somehow bringing peaches into the mix, since I’m all about infusing natural elements into a wedding.  So I’m definitely a fan of what’s going on here.

Alas, I am fickle.  I’m really quite the indecisive young lady, with far too much inspiration at and oozing out of my fingertips.  (Eww.)  So I’ll just keep on looking, and keep on bringing it back here.  Because, you know what?  I love being overwhelmed.  Yeah, I THRIVE on the feeling.

Jeez Louise, look at this CAKE.  It. Is. PERFECT.  Kind of reminds me of this cake, from one of my favorite weddings EVA.

~ Details, courtesy of Once Wed ~

Photography Simply Bloom

Flowers Amy Osaba

Art Direction/Styling Joy Thigpen

Cake Topper Dolci Odille

Cake Chocolate Pink Cafe

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CARRIE UNDERWOOD | there’s something about Carrie… | “Hmm, it’s Nice… But Do You Have it in White?”

Awww, just look at them.  Aren’t they adorable?

Carrie with her fiance, hockey player Mike Fisher

{ 1, 2, 3 }

As we’ve come to expect from Carrie, she was a vision walking the red carpet, this time at the 2010 Grammy Awards in LA this past Sunday, January 31.

The details:

On her ears: Ippolita Silver…

+

On her bod: a white Edition by Georges Chakra…

And in her hand: a Swarovski crystal clutch…

Alright, let’s get to it here…

Have you noticed a pattern in Carrie’s signature style over the years?  I suspect you may have, as she’s been following it to a tee – almost religiously.  Carrie is pretty consistent… in fact, one might say there are no shades of gray (or much of any other color, for that matter, save for the occasional all black ensemble, and a few brightly colored numbers she’s sprinkled in over the years).

Are you picking up what I’m puttin’ down?

If it isn’t already obvious – and I do believe I’ve beaten it to a pulp at this point – the 26-year-old has a rather serious penchant for evening gowns and cocktail dresses that keep it on the whiter side of things.  She clearly knows what works for her, and isn’t afraid to stick with it.  Sort of like back in grade school, whenever I found a top that fit me just right, I’d leave the store with at least three, in different colors.  (Noooo, I didn’t catch flack for that.)  So I feel ya, Carrie.

Here, flip through these and you’ll see what I mean…

[flagallery gid=10 name="Lady in (shades of) white"]

So, with that said, are you thinking what I’m thinking?  If you are, then that makes two of us who cannot wait to find out what the future Mrs. Fisher will be wearing for that walk down a very different kind of carpet.  Hint hint, nudge nudge.

She’s certainly gotten in some good practice. ;)

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WEDDING DRESS LOVE | feminine + delicate + alluring | Elizabeth Dye ~ The English Dept

Checking my Google Reader is ALWAYS a thrill, especially when I haven’t been by in a bit and there’s a lot through which to wade.  I hear some people don’t like that, and I can see how it could quickly become overwhelming… but I dig it.  I never know what’s in store for me, and I love it that way.

I swear, it feels like Christmas each and every time.  Especially given the fact that I can usually expect to see a post or two about beautiful paper, lovely note cards or pretty packaging.  So yeah, Christmas.

… So, imagine my delight when I clicked on the feed of one of my favorite blogs, Eat Drink Chic, and caught a glimpse of these:

Lovely, right?

It has been a challenge to hold these in over an entire weekend.

I seriously could not wait to show them to you!  These gowns are just a few of the many unbelievable pieces Elizabeth Dye has created as part of her Spring 2010 Collection.  I love them and openly covet them.  I wish (I could afford/it wouldn’t look ridiculous to) wear each and every one of them on my wedding day.  Aren’t they all just darling in their own, unique ways?

Honeychurch

Oysters and Pearls

Persuasion

Beatrix

Elizabeth works out of her studio in Portland, Oregon and owns a shop called The English Dept.  Don’t live anywhere near there?  No problem.  She also has a cozy little Etsy shop by the same name, where you can view a few of her inspiring designs – not to mention grab one for yourself if you’re in the market.

By the way, I love her custom work, too.  Especially this little number…

How cute does this bride look?  I love that she’s got to get on her tippy toes in order to lock lips with her hubby!  So precious.

Here’s another one of Elizabeth’s darling designs – it’s called “Ghost,” and it comes in both a long version…

And a short one!

I’m kind of loving the set design here, too.  And if I ever launch a line of wedding attire and need to do a model search, this gal will absolutely be on my short list.  Just look at that punim!  Gorgeous.

{ Photo credit: Lisa Warninger }

***

Oh, by the way, here are a couple of cookies.

‘Cause it’s Monday, and you deserve it.

{ Where I got the cookies! }

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS { Part III } | California dreaming | Wedding Cakes, Wedding Kisses & the Chance to Win a Dream Photo Session!

I leave you, on a chilly Friday in New York, with this…

The cake, by My Sweet & Saucy is made of buttercream, and is topped off with luscious, fresh raspberries.

{ Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang }

***

This next set of photos have a certain special thing in common, that is, aside from being taken in California.  Each of them… well, can you guess?

These amazing engagement shots, taken on the beach in Santa Monica, are by California photographer Caroline Tran, and they are treasures.

I’m not much of a fan of the “all kissing, all the time” engagement shoots.  They can easily turn into too much of a good thing; the beauty of such intimacy can be lost with repetition.  But that’s not what’s happened here.

It’s subtle.  It’s soft.  It’s not in your face.  It’s totally beautiful.

I must add, too, that I’m a big fan of a color – or in this case, shade – coordinated couple.  Because two really poorly matched outfits can seriously ruin an entire shoot.

Oh, and by the way… how about a chance to win your own dream shoot?

One lucky couple – engaged or married, either one – will win this amazing session.  It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be photographed by Caroline Tran and stylized by Green Wedding Shoes!

Hurry!  Submissions are due by this Sunday, January 31.

{ Photo Credit: Caroline Tran Photography }

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS { Part II } | California on my mind | Sarah Yates Photography: Engagement & Wedding Photos with That California Glow + More Edible Goodness…

I adore nearly all things California, I think it’s obvious by now.  (A failing economy, fires and one movie star governor are behind the “nearly.”)  With so many awe-inspiring bits of photographic beauty emerging from the oblong state on the western edge of our country, it’s hard not to fall deeply and hopelessly in love with its warm sunny glow.  And what Sarah Yates produces is no exception…

Like Monique is one of the Queens of Comedy, Sarah Yates is – in my humble opinion, one of the Queens of Engagement & Wedding Photography.  And  her attractive and endearing subjects don’t hurt, either.  This brings me to another thing I love about California.  (Resisting the urge to write “Cali” at every turn here, people.  It’s rough going.)

I cherish people who wear color.  They are the few, the fiery, the walking embodiment of joy.  Wearing color can brighten your day, and it can have that same effect on those around you.  I always feel a special something different when I wear color, and whatever that is, it feels good, every time.  So, if you’re up to it, I suggest adding a splash of color to your typical look if you don’t already… it’s fun, and that’s what life’s about, please don’t forget that!

***

By the way, remember Cannelle Et Vanille from earlier?  Here are a handful of other reasons I love her…

Pear, Raspberry and Ginger Pies:

Pumpkin and Hazelnut Doughnuts and a Clafoutis:

Sweet Potato, Yogurt and Hazelnut Cupcakes:

Churros with Spiced Chocolate Bisque:

***

Coming up next: even more Fabulous Friday Finds!

{ Photo credit: 1-6, Sarah Yates Photography; 7-14, Cannelle Et Vanille }

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WEDDING PHOTO LOVE | real wedding ~ CA { Part II } | Steve and Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding by Sarah Yates

The Backyard LA Wedding of Steve and Kelly, photographed by Sarah Yates, continued…

I know.  This wedding is the definition of dreamy.  If you were to look up “dreamy” in the dictionary… you know the rest.

Kelly’s whole bridal look… her hair, her makeup, her gown… all of it, perfection…

Absolutely breathtaking.  A contender for the cover of a high society romance novel.

Doesn’t she look like one of the happiest brides around?  Surrounded by her maids, she shines.  Though, that tends to happen with pea soup green bridesmaids dresses.  Still, Kelly’s beauty is unparalleled.

***

Click to view Steve + Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding { Part I }

***

Once again:

The vendors, courtesy of Once Wed:

Photography: Sarah Yates Photography

Coordinator and Florist: La Partie Events

Catering: The Food Matters

Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals

Cake and Desserts: Joslyn’s Bakery

DJ: B-Boy Productions, Inc.

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WEDDING PHOTO LOVE | real wedding ~ CA { Part I } | Steve and Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding by Sarah Yates

On a visit to A Cup of Joe, I discovered a path to one of the prettiest weddings currently floating around in the ether, and featured on Once Wed.  Sarah Yates, the amazing photographer tasked with capturing this wedding – whose out-of-this-world talent makes my jaw drop repeatedly with every additional wedding she posts – features these stunning shots on her blog, Sarah Yates Photography.  If you’d like to see more, you can go directly to Steve and Kelly’s wedding.  Now, for the little bit of loveliness I’ve plucked…

These photographs of a couple in love are among my favorite this month.  Their bond, the natural surroundings, everything is beaming the warm glow of happiness.

How darling is this one of the couple sitting close together in the lower left corner of the image.  That red boutonnière makes the shot, doesn’t it?  A pinch of color can go so far.

I am in lust with the colors of this wedding.  The decor is unbelievable.  And those CENTERPIECES!  I am floored by the lovely and loud floral arrangements contained in those vases.  The colors, the choices of flowers, the overall shape, the simplicity.  I adore the work done here.

***

Coming up: Steve + Kelly, LA Backyard Wedding { Part II }

***

Vendors, courtesy of Once Wed:

Photography: Sarah Yates Photography

Coordinator and Florist: La Partie Events

Catering: The Food Matters

Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals

Cake and Desserts: Joslyn’s Bakery

DJ: B-Boy Productions, Inc.

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