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Lost in Translation: Attire

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 10:28:29 PDT

Rule Three: Dress for the Occassion.


This should be a no-brainer. It's just that I have seen two ends of the spectrum. On one end, we have a bride who thinks that the fashionable parade of bridesmaids and the obsessively "vintage" decor are mutually exclusive--- her maids will daunt uninspired strapless A-lines with a color-coordinated sash... and assume that her job is done an all is cohesive. On the other extreme, the maids can come off a little costume-like with period pieces. If you are looking for a Jackie or Audrey or Grace affair... then dress the gals accordingly with pieces that are inspired by the same things you are.... Pieces that feel as though they belong at the event that you are creating. Style the bridal party as though they are an extension of your wedding decor... use them to your advantage. THEY can be that amazing accent piece that you are needing... they're the most under-used accessory in event design (in my humble opinion)


Teri Jon does such a lovely job of this. I LOVE her line. Couldn't you see yourself wearing this? Couldn't you see it on the cover of Vogue? Couldn't you just imagine some lovely dame from yesteryear sporting this? And can't you just see the generations to come drooling over these pieces? That- is-timelessness... the ability to endure the changes in fashion, trends, and ideas...

(image) (image)

Lost In Translation... Decor.

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 10:31:41 PDT

Rule Two: Don't force it.

There is nothing worse then being slapped in the face with indicators that this is what the party "theme" is over and over. It's like sitting next to a talkie at a movie who wants to tell you that "oh this is a funny part coming up, watch"... if you have to tell someone it is funny then you are belittling their humor-radar... the same holds true for weddings and events. If you feel that the substance of the event is not enough on its own and you have to keep reiterating the fact that there was a distinct vision in this design (i/e: over prop-ing or mega-styling the event) then chances are that your original vision was not carried out to its fullest potential.

You want to create a unique experience for your guests unlike any other. You want it to draw inspiration from great design and you want it to be pulled together- but you don't want it to be one-note. Great, meaningful events (reguardless of budget) are formed from a series of complex layers that work together to form a complete thought... a well rounded story. There needs to be emotion. There needs to be a little drama. There needs to be something unexpected. Events, in my opinion, are an extension of you. The way you entertain is NOT mutually exclusive from the way you live.

When styling a room in your home or putting together an outfit what are the things that you first consider? Is it color selection or patterns or an overall "feel" that you are trying to convey? Do you find yourself falling in love with a one piece and then building around it or do you try to match like-minded pieces together to form a whole? Are you into making a statement through a focal piece or do you tend to design through accessories? These are questions that I encourage brides to explore.

Use your own aesthetic and design method to allow the event to unfold. I believe that inspiration boards are very powerful tools. I encourage every bride to have a cork board that they can add and take away from throughout the process. I usually suggest that brides have a second board next to the wedding board. This board is specifically for items that are non-wedding related. Throughout the process, be sure to cross-reference and see how closely your vision for the day matches who you are outside of the wedding world.

When faced with an amazing idea in a magazine, ask yourself the relevance of that element to YOUR wedding. It is okay to admire someone else's creativity and wit, but know that your wedding is indicative of YOUR story and thus it is unnecessary to "keep up with the Jones". The most endearing events are not those that try to do EVERYTHING... they are the ones which keep moderation and restraint in mind. When you feel as though you are being torn in a dozen directions with the style of the wedding, distance yourself from the design. Don't allow over-saturation of ideas to be the driving force behind your To-Do List.

Lost In Translation... Venue

Thu, 15 May 2008 09:00:40 PDT

Firstly, it is important that I state that I love drawing inspiration from the past- but that is where it must stop.... inspiration. You don't want your wedding looking like your grandmother's living room any more than you want it to look like those "dated" weddings of tulle and mirror centerpieces. So let's examine a few rules that I have for creating a vintage- err- timeless affair.

Rule ONE: Don't make it LOOK like something, make it BE something....

This is an important one. You see, I completely agree that you need a VISION and a COHESIVE THREAD.... but sometimes we can take this a little too literal and the party looks over styled and like a kid in a costume. You don't want it to resemble a Hollywood Glamour Feel- you want it to emulate that feeling on its own.... (image) One of the easiest ways to fall into this catagory is by bad venue choice. If you want a lavishly grand event, then opt for a lavishly grand environment. Go for Architecturely Interesting Spaces. In truth, your money is better spent in finding a space that sets the tone rather than trying to make another space into your ideal setting. Dressing up a banquet hall in hundreds of flowers doesn't make it have a "garden feel".... slapping a few palms into a museum doesn't make it tropical.... embrace the space you are in and make sure that every decision you make is indicative of the overall vision you have.
(image) Find beautiful spaces that will not need so much to enhance them. Rather than look at their price tag and think - Oh no, but what about everything else? - Think... well in reality there won't be as much "something else's" because I won't need to bring in all the other "stuff"... A gorgeous space will be gorgeous for decades to come- it is my firm belief that some of these "platinum, over the top affairs" will seem a little dated in the coming years. (image) Your space needs to make you feel something... and that something should be the same feeling that you are trying to acheive with the overall design. (This is the ceremony site of my upcomming nuptuals.... we chose the oak for so many reasons- this massive tree makes you feel as though you are in the prescence of something so much greater than you- something that has sustained so much and something that you want to understand. We are going for a warm, approachable, but still very moving event. I think that this tree hits all of our marks.)

Lost in Translation.

Wed, 14 May 2008 12:22:06 PDT

So when does vintage become a little played out? Yes- I am really saying that. As someone that drools over early Vogue, obsesses over Old Hollywood, and holds Burlesque Queens in high regard.... I never thought that the day would come when I would say that I am a little over the whole "vintage is cool" movement. The reason that all of the before mentioned resonated with me was because of their timelessness... Now I am faced with wide-eyed brides brining in kitschy flea market finds by the bus load, hoping that we can work it into their wedding and make emulate the same feeling.... The truth is, I just can't. I won't. I'm sorry. It's just that throwing up a few Vogue posters and naming the tables after Silverscreen Starlettes isn't going to transform your affair into a timeless piece of art.

It is time that we come to terms with reality... we need to discuss what makes a MODERN wedding timeless, and understand that VINTAGE elements of style are wonderful, but in moderation- and only when it assists the design.

Over the next few posts, hopefully I can clear up what my version of a "vintage" wedding is ... and more importantly, what it is not.

Sliding back in under the radar...

Thu, 08 May 2008 10:39:08 PDT

I was just over at Perfectbound where I saw this....and it reminded me of an event that I did a couple years back. I had a bride with a really challenging color concept.... royal purple, grass green, sunshine yellow... and just a hint of coral here and there....At first I was a little frightened by the hodge-podge of colors, but in the end- the bride's enthusiasm told us to just go for it....When you decide to go with such a BOLD color choice, then it is important that it is done in such a way as to appear effortless and not forced- otherwise you run the risk of coming off too strong and much like a child's birthday party. Bold colors are fun, but often can loose their elegance in translation.So our recipe for that day went something like this:1. Hold the wedding at MOCA, a modern art museum downtown... which provided a blank canvas of white walls and steel so as to not compete with the color choices. It is very important that brides realize that their choice of venue must dictate the design- and if the design or colors are chosen first, then the venue must follow suit... there is nothing worse then walking into a ballroom that is trying to be a tropical wedding.... or walking onto a beach where the beautiful shoreline is littered with trellis and garden arches. So remember.... you want it to flow naturally and effortlessly- don't force it.2. We shipped in really vibrant flowers- keeping it simple. Using granny smith reindeer moss, tulips, mini callas, orchids, bear grass, bells of ireland, and wire we created arrangements that weren't (as the bride said) "fluffy". Playing with submerged pieces and free-form design, we sought to bring the contemporary sculptural art from the museum into the flower arrangements as well without getting too strange for the bride's somewhat reserved taste.3. Next, we took a space that was very open and disected it. When the ceremony, cocktails, and reception are taking place in one location it is very important that you consider the flow. Just like a fine story, an event should have a beginning, a climax, and a denouement. We acheived this by seperating the space using white sheer voile fabric, hung loosely over the exposed piping... creating a backdrop for the ceremony- adding a little lighting caused a really dramatic effect and brought in the coral... later in the evening, the fabric was tied into oversided knots to reveal the buffet, stations, and cake. We also used lighting to our advantage. Due to the fact that the guests would be able to view the galleries at their leisure during the cocktail hour and later on, we could not give the space that low lighting effect, so we had to bring in bold uplighting to shoot up the 20+ ft walls... in doing this, we were able to seperate the spaces by color and then coordinate it with the linens to further give a distinct spacial layout.4. From here, we began adding those special little details that brought together the overall design and made it personal to the bride and groom.... having an arts and crafts table for the kiddies... serving "MOCA" covered coffee beans.... passing the food on artist palettes, having signature drinks named after the couple's hometowns, a little of the couple's personality on the napkins and program (with a quote from their fav. movie Patch Adams)... a family friend played the violin prior to the ceremony and during the processional...she walked down the aisle to "Groovy kind of Love"- gave him a drum set grooms cake, and they danced to the Beetles.... This particular design was successful in its execution because we kept in mind several things: 1. Keep it simple. Don't over design or try to be too ambitious in your design.2. Keep in mind your timeframe. For this design, we only had a few months and we knew that we would have a very strict and limited schedule for set up and break down at the museum. Because of this, we opted to keep it basic but impactual.3. Keep your budget in mind. Sure, we considered doing An[...]

One Stop Shop: CB2

Fri, 28 Mar 2008 09:12:53 PDT

Who doesn't love CB2? They are my "other Ikea"... and much of my own wedding is inspired by their line of lab-vases. What I love about CB2 is that they often assist in illustrating to my brides how a white wedding can be modern and crisp and clean. When I have a bride that is struggling to find her voice in a sea of viable color options... I like to suggest that she not choose one or two or three- rather go with an all white canvas and add punches of colors in her desired intensity. If she decides to go muted, it will come off feminine- bold, it will come off modern, patterned and bold- very ecclectic..... and so- here is my version of a tongue-in-cheek swanky soiree for a young couple that don't take themselves too seriously.... enjoy.


One Stop Shop: Ikea Formal

Wed, 27 Feb 2008 11:54:50 PST

When I enter Ikea, I feel a sense of excitement that is far different than my other favorite stores- mainly because when I enter, I do not have to calculate the total in my head or decide whether I can afford the single picture frame or the candleholder... no my dear friend Ikea allows me to shop as though I were in the financial state I dream of being in.... Ikea is my little shot of champagne on a beer budget- and for that I am grateful.I turn to Ikea often when designing weddings. It is great for bulk small vases or textiles- especially for my more modern brides. The first in this little trio is for the gal that wants to go highly sophisticated but stay well within her means... thus the color scheme is black, white, and chartreuse- very modern, yet decidedly timeless. My thoughts were of this bride being practical and opting for a cocktail reception with passed hor deurves rather than a seated dinner or buffet... I imagine this in either an art gallery or a loft space or even a raw urban setting (perhaps a rooftop garden?) The idea is to keep it simple yet refined....Even when hosting a cocktail reception, it is important to still have an evolution throughout the evening... which can be a little tricky when everything is taking place in ONE location. The way to do this is by building up the story through the use of lighting, menu, and entertainment. Perhaps have a dusk wedding (see eachother before the wedding and get the pictures out of the way, also opt for a day-after photo session)... keep the ceremony simple. I love the idea of the bride wearing the signature chartreuse and her maids in black- skipping the tux for the guys and keeping them in cool and sleek cocktail attire.... The maids carrying callas, the bride carrying phaelenopsis orchids with beargrass loops.... tons of candles everywhere....I love the idea of taking the unity candle concept a bit further (esp at dusk weddings)... by having tapers at all guests' chairs... then during the ceremony, having the bride and groom take their unity candle and light the MOH/Best Man's candles- letting this one flame slowly go down the line and then extend to all of the guests... the symbolism is so moving to see this small flicker make its way thorughout the entire wedding- Guests are lead to the cocktail reception by luminaries- signature chartreuse drinks, an agressively ecclectic menu cleverly displayed, and a live musician (piano soloist- think Nora Jones or Kate Nash) will set the tone. I really love the idea of having a polaroid station- and at this wedding having clotheslines overhead with tiny black pins to display them "gallery style" works well... just snap, write a message, and then pin it up to display (have someone collect them at the end of the night)It is always a good idea, if you are going to do something like this, to have SOME SEATING for those elderly guests, pregnant guests, etc. I suggest having a "reserved table" for parents/grandparents/couple... as well as extended seating for about 1/3 of guests. Keep the tables SMALL (about 4-5) to encourage mingling and emphasize the cocktail feel.... As the night draws onward, you can have a couple of stations (pasta, sushi, etc) open for an hour or so... do this tactfully so that not everyone is rushing to the limited seating at once. Keep the hor deurves comming, getting a little heavier now-***For a wedding of 100, that means about 30 should have a firm seat at a table- which also means that you can splurge a little and get decor for these that you really love, to later transition into your home.Once the group has mingled and the stations have lost their pizzaz... it is time to get the party started! I LOVE LOVE LOVE a band- but if you must have a dj- opt for lounge/house music for this particular affair. The passed selection should move into lighter and perhaps dessert selections... there should be a change in lighting (from ca[...]

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One Stop Shop: Anthropologie Offbeat

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 07:06:07 PST

The last in our little trio on Anthro. will be for the gal who loves this store not only for its gorgeous inventory... but also for its inspiring displays. Lets face it, part of the way that we justify their somewhat hefty pricetags is because of that warm fuzzy feeling we instantly get when we step in- the space is just so inspiring and unexpected...So while you can definately justify purchasing many of these items for your wedding and then reusing them for your home- a little part of you wants those creative projects that all the brides around the blog-scene drool over.... I suggest that you look towards Anthro's gorgeous window and product displays for inspiration when styling the event.... by mixing highs (beautiful tea cups, platters, and select furniture pieces) with lows:straw chandliersstraw chargersmason jar lightingnewspaper (or love letter)space divider/definerssticks- lots of sticks You will be able to stay within budget, keep it indicative of YOUR STYLE, and even have a mound of useful pieces for your married life. Perhaps you could have one of the art directors at your local Anthro commissioned to be a part of your team??Good luck! And for all you IKEA gals- check back later as that will be our next stop in the series....[...]

One Stop Shop: Anthropologie Elegant

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 12:40:59 PST

When I go to Anthropologie, I know that I am in for a treat- I get that same giddy feeling as when I go to an amazing antique shop... only better because I know that I won't have to hunt to find lovelies- as they are all around me in plain sight. Thus, this little grouping of Anthro-delight aims to show how your wedding can be both indicative of your style AND still remain personal.... it's all about merging who you are with where you've come from, in a celebration of where you are headed!Sometimes it can be tricky to "try to be sophisticated"... ultimately, we tend to think black ties and formal gowns... but really- a grown-up palette and an dusk ceremony can be enough.... I love using this palette of teals and mushrooms.... it's so very mature yet fresh!And when you are being so liberal in your bridal party attire, know that there does need to be some cohesiveness to it all- I've opted to really glam up the jewelry and perhaps the shoe selection as well so that long and short dresses give off the same message of formality. I would go with antiqued hydrangeas or queen annes lace handtied in a loose-structure for the bouquets.For a sophisticated affair, I always urge that the event take place in three stages: the cocktail hour, the dinner, and the dancing. If at all possible, it is nice to have each of these in a different area of your location- as the constant change of senery adds to the drama of the evening and the overall flow of the event.I like to think of the cocktail hour as an introduction of sorts... it will set the stage for the rest of the evening. Provide lots of conversation starters. Signature drinks, wedding photos of guests, and little pieces of information about the couple are wonderful conversation starters. For the cocktail hour, skip the flowers... focus more on good lighting (remember that guests will be less self-concious in dimmer, more flattering light)... a well-stocked bar... cleverly-packaged appetizers.... and a couple of impactual design elements. Recently, I have renovated an old card catalog cabinet found on ebay. By sprucing up the hardare and adding a runner and a few candles and framed photos, it can be a beautiful focal piece... additionally, I love the idea of using the drawers (some can have as many as a hundred) to house the escort cards. Elegance is simple. It is unpretentious. It can be relaxed and not stuffy. Such is the case with this table. I envision simple linens, topped with a runner of interesting vases used as pillars for platters to sit atop- what is more grandeure than a family-style feast down a long table? When I watch movies such as Marie Antoinette, I am constantly reminded how much I would LOVE for a bride to skip the whole plated production and flowers ...and have the food right there... for the dinner to extend over an hour with good conversation and amazing food. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to go elegant, I love the idea of having family contribute to a "pot luck" of sorts earlier in the day... then having a waitstaff hired on to keep the drinks filled and the clean-up in order.... by spending your money on beautiful serving pieces rather than flowers and decor, you'll have heirloom pieces for years to come!And on to dancing (another reason to keep the food seperate from the dancing is that a waitstaff bussing tables is a bit of a mood killer... keep the energy up by leaving the mess behind to really unwind!). I have found that if there are a TON of chairs around for the wallflowers to retreat to, then they will NEVER make it onto the dance floor... but if they've been wined and dined and there is limited seating (more lounge-like) then your older guests will converse and your younger guests will mingle and dance the night away. If dancing is taking place outdoors, I think that the most elegant way to carry on this ov[...]

One Stop Shop: Anthropologie Casual

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 10:40:51 PST

I LOVE the bright hues all over Anthropologie and think that it would be a great source of inspiration for a casual daytime wedding... subdued hues can get washed out by the sunshine of a brunch or mid-day celebration... but these bold gem tones can hold their own against the bright rays.Now these are dresses that you really CAN wear again! The level of saturation, length, and overall formality are enough to uniform the bridal party without being too matchy-matchy.... and I am LOVING these necklaces, available in a myriad of hues.Greet guests with a vintage door that has Anthropologie's signature knobs screwed in all over it- each with a small notecard hanging to escort guests to their tables.... (How lovely will these knobs look all around your home after the wedding is over?!)The idea of infusing your style is not to over-design the space. You probably have already fallen in love with your location for its natural beauty. It's simply a way to bring small touches of personalization to the area... and it is always nice to keep the event cohesive by having a definative thread/message/tone. You can create make-shift seating areas by simply exchanging a few of the rental cushions on chivaris for these.... toss a few pillows onto any rented or pre-existing lounge furniture or benches... hang a few brightly colored chandeliers from the trees or indoor rafters.... Take photos from your engagement session and have them enlarged and then matted atop GORGEOUS sheets of wallpaper, placed in an ornate frame.You don't need to go overboard on the tables with mounds of flowers to bring in color. I love the idea of crisp white linens and a runner made of varying heights of candleabras, votives, and candle sticks. Frame the table number in a pretty frame and hang a few lamp-shades overhead (with lantern light kits) for simple but oh-so-chic style!Even if you are opting for a buffet or plated dinner.... I always suggest a station or two later in the night. Sometimes guests just need a break from dancing and thus it is nice to have some sort of interactive entertainment for them. If your guests are not much for coffee... try an exotic tea station... if your event is going into the wee hours, opt for a breakfast food station.... And here is where you can actually splurge a little and get those oh-so-amazing bowls or tea sets that go PERFECT with the event. Typically, only about half of the guests will utilize the station- and when it is all over, a set of these make PERFECT bridal party gifts!The idea is that you can start with what you already know about your design aesthetic... and go from there- what I love most about a wedding being reflective of your design is that when it is all over- you don't have yards of tulle or hundreds of tiny boxes in the shape of wedding cakes- you have pieces that can easily be reworked and recycled into your home and lifestyle...[...]

One Stop Shop...

Wed, 20 Feb 2008 20:58:05 PST

Sometimes I feel that the biggest hurdle to overcome when helping brides plan a wedding is getting them to understand that their wedding style is NOT mutually exclusive from their personal style. For some reason, when the words design and wedding enter into the same context, there seems to be these weird undertones that arise, where who we are and who we think we should be somehow seem to be worlds apart. When I think of my own brides and their designs, I try to encourage them to style their wedding the same way that they would style their home or their wardrobe... it is all about taking elements that are already in place and then turning them into a celebration. Typically, one of my first questions that I ask when we start discussing the design is not what colors they like or what flowers they adore... it's "If you could have a shopping spree at any store... which would it be?"

And so brings us to the first in a series of posts on "One Stop Shopping"... the concept is simple enough... I am going to attempt to show how an entire event could be pulled from ONE STORE... I'll post a casual/sophisticated/offbeat version from each... and hopefully this little exercise will encourage each of you to stop seeking inspiration in tired wedding shops... and start searching your own style!

Snapshot: Susan Stripling

Mon, 18 Feb 2008 06:57:19 PST

Gorgeous + Ethereal... those are the two words that come to mind when I browse through Susan's portfolio. Her images are timeless and soft and feminine and flowing with drama and underlying stories. Simply put, they are pretty and make you feel something- what more can you ask? She's based in Florida but available for travel- so hurry on over and give her site a looksie.As my taste in photography continues to be ever-evolving, I am beginning to realize how much I am not really a fan of "photo-journalism" as much as I am a fan of "unobtrusive editorial-style photography" (I am sure that there is a much better term for this but this is the best I could come up with for now). As I meet more photographers and get a feel for what their styles are... I am beginning to see that I favor photographers who do instruct their subjects vaguely and then capture the magazine-worthy moments in an unexpected way. I love photographers, like Susan, who seem to have a vision for the photograph before it ever happens. I can appreciate this artistic approach. Now- I will be the first to rant about photographers that spend too much time "trying to force emotions that never happened at the wedding" or even creating whole scenes for show... but I will also say that sometimes we just aren't all that glamorous on our own. All too often I see brides spend oodles on their wedding photography with a reputable photographer but ask that their photos are ALL photo-journalistic... only to be disappointed with how mediocre and standard the reality of their day truely was. Sure, they're good photos- and awesome angles and editing... but they lack that punch, that drama, that EMOTION....If a bride is wanting to be photographed EXACTLY as it happened then strictly photo-journalistic styles are the way to go... but if they are wanting to be photographed exactly as they WANT to see it happen and unfold, then perhaps finding a photographer that is unobtrusive, creative, and a bit of a visionary is a better route. My favorite photographers know when to direct and when to coast on auto-pilot, and in the opinion of this blogger- THAT is the balance that one should seek in their wedding photography.[...]

Home-grown: Etiquette of Chocolate

Mon, 18 Feb 2008 07:22:51 PST

One of my goals this year is to put a little more effort into developing a local resource for North Florida Brides within the blog. While those plans are underway but not nearly close to completion (more on that later)... I want to introduce you to my most recent find.... Etiquette of Chocolate- located on Kingsley Avenue in Orange Park, Florida. Jaycel and Judy are bringing such a refined (and delicious) treat to the first coast. They studied at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and interned under Ron Ben-Israel, thus one can expect nothing short of mouth-watering delight within each of their carefully crafted bonbons. I was introduced to this duo through a current bride of mine. We have been working closely with Jaycel and Judy to develop both a gorgeous cake design and a favor concept centered around their signature line of bonbons. Each bonbon is named after relationships that people form (love, compassion, etc)- all elements that my bride felt were essential within her marriage... thus we are naming her tables after each of these, offering a sampling of the delicious squares to her guests, and attaching a little love letter from the couple- explaining how each element is important to them. I am excited for to carry out the execution and will be sure to share pictures from this one in July. In the mean time, be sure to stop into either Matthew's Market (San Marco) or Bottega di Bella Sera (Park and King near 5 points)or Etiquette of Chocolate Studio (Kinglsey Ave in Orange Park) to pick up your box to share or indulge solo...

Designer Showcase: Amor*Ology

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 11:36:48 PST

Love Love LOVING this mother-daughter duo! They are located in Sunny California- yet it is so uncanny... many of their designs reflect so many of my own brides' weddings... finding their portfolio was like finding my long lost wedding design soulmate. I ESPECIALLY love their school-themed wedding, which has many elements that I am planning for my own wedding. I encourage you to stop by and check out their extensive featured gallery. It is so full of fun wit and oozes with inspiration! SIDE NOTE: (And for all you vendors out there... take note... this is how to do a website! I love its simplicity and carefully edited portfolio. It is well-rounded and cohesive and reflective of their design aesthetic... as a potential bride, I feel that I get a good impression of what to expect.) If you are looking to spruce up your own website, use the Blu Domain team- very affordable and their templates are priceless![...]

I heart... Valentines! {and chocolate}

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 10:46:21 PST

I know that it is a really really cheesy holiday. I know that florists and Hallmark are making a killing... but I can't help it. I think that it is WONDERFUL that we've decided to take an entire day to be kind. to reflect and perhaps obsess over "love". Whether you say it with flowers or with chocolate... or a fumbled message within a $5.45 card.... just say it! I love taking today to pamper myself... to remind myself of why I fell in love with Mr. Oh Happy in the first place... and to step back from "reality" and delight in that feeling of giddy, hopeless courtship- cheesy roses and teddy and all! If you don't have a Valentine today, then draw a warm bath, light a few candles, and toast to your own accomplishments!

I stand corrected...

Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:07:35 PST

So last year you were able to hear me rant and rave about how videography needed to step up to the plate if it wanted to be considered as important as photography.... well- now that I am planning my own wedding... I am singing a wee different tune. I have been exposed to some AMAZING videographers over the last couple of months! Their prices are comparable with wedding photography... but then again, so is their product! They have taken their craft to the next level and so I am thrilled to introduce you to them:1. Simply CinematicThey are located out of Orlando and do great work. They describe themselves as photo-journalistic, unobtrusive... but with a slightly editorial twist. There are no giant lights in the guests' faces... no staged false memories... just a cleverly edited product that is reflective of the day as it unfolded. I love that they focus so much on all of the little moments that go into the overall celebration. The way the flower girl pouted in the corner, the expression of mom when she is frazzled... a bride that is a little nerveous- I love that each wedding is different and it seems that there is not a set structure of "shots" that they aim to get, rather they let it unfold as it may... BRAVO! (And their trailer sites... shown above are equally cool! photo by Agnes Lopez)2. Four Seasons FilmsThis team of videographers is so amazing... they start with arial views of the entire area- they bring all of those elements that went into planning the theme (location, season, climate) and tie them into the wedding itself through an intricately woven video. I love how amazing their shots are, how fluid and grandose their overall execution is. This is a GREAT videographer if you are having a wedding at a resort or a weekend of festivities... their transition and ability to include so many elements in a seamless manor makes them one of my top three.3. Cinematic BrideJoshua has taken videography to the next level- I warn you that should you choose to visit his site, you will be there for hours... as each and every trailer and bridal video draws you in closer and closer. These videos do not only tell the day, they connect with their audience and provoke emotion- they aren't a wedding video... they are a cinematic masterpiece! Don't be too overly frightened by the HUGE price tag on the largest package, if you are willing to make way in your budget, there are more modest but equally substancial packages offered- and he'll travel... anywhere![...]

I'm Back! (For anyone that may still stop in...)

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:28:54 PST

So the holidays turned into the new year and one trip has lead to another... and alas- I am back in the daily blogging spirit!

The bags are unpacked and my washer is in overload... but I am home and it feels WONDERFUL! Looking back, last year was really great for me. I was able to find my place in this great big world, embark upon a few new ventures, and ultimately decide the path I would like to travel.... so what lies ahead in 2008?

I predict that this year will be the best one yet- as I am working really hard on starting my on business (launching Fall 09)... I'll be traveling quite a bit throughout the year... I have some amazing weddings that I am working on... among them- I have my OWN wedding- as well as my sister and very close cousin..... It is going to be a great year in my neck of the woods! And what better way to start the year off then to give you a little list of things I am inspired by right now?

1. Foo Dogs

2. Carnies and Caravans

3. Vintage Children's Book Illustrations

4. Glamour of a lost age...

5. Kate Sutton

So this is Christmas...

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 20:10:53 PST

And what haven't I done...

So very very sorry for the long break... it has been bananas over here!

Both my sister and very close cousin have announced their engagements (perhaps a little guest blogging in the works for 2008- we are all so very close and yet so very different in terms of our personalities and styles....)

My sister is going to be giving birth any moment... we are all on pins and needles as this will be the first baby of any of my siblings....

My own wedding plans are moving forward and I am so very anxious to share all of the fun details we are finalizing...

And I will be taking the next year to chronical my own journey into launching my own design studio... (anxious just typing it)

I've received numerous emails from all of you and promise responses and posts after the new year...

But for now- a little time off to celebrate the holidays and and family.... see you all in 2008!

Mailbag: BCBG Dress MIA....

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 20:45:55 PST

Reader Steph: So very sorry that the dress is no longer anywhere to be found on bluefly... however, it is still available through BCBG (but at the full price of $400). What I loved so very dearly about this particular piece, we the fact that it is remnicent of one of my favorite dress designers, Betsy Johnson. Here are a few pieces from her current collection:Note though, that they rack in at comparable prices to BCBG so if you are really looking for a "deal" then perhaps it's back to bluefly- here are a few little black dresses that ARE in stock to get you started...[...]

Tag- I'm it...

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 21:00:49 PST

Alright... so I have been tagged by so many- for several different "share facts about yourself" posts... well the truth is (perhaps this can count as interesting fact #1) I'm not really good at those games. I get a little anxiety-stricken when websites ask for a profile that describes yourself in 500 words or less. I don't do well with first-day get-to-know-you exercises. I believe this stems from the fact that I am somewhat a loner and always have been. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE people. I love social gatherings. However, I prefer to sit back and analyze and be content in my little world. I was the kid that did group projects alone- that preferred to finger paint solo rather than play house with the other kids... ya know? But in the spirit of things, I decided to follow suit with The Preppy Wedding and offer up these interesting facts without provocation.1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?Weeknights I am hot chocolate with the jumbo sized marshmellows made with milk not water... but come Friday- I am on a three-day eggnog binge!2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?My stepfather is Lithuanian and thus we have a traditional Lithuanian Christmas Eve Dinner where we exchange all of the wrapped gifts to one another. Santa, on the other hand, does not wrap the gifts. (I'm 23 and the eldest of 5, thus we still do the Santa thing for my youngest brother's sake).... infact, Santa likes to take the gifts out completely and set them up in interesting ways. One year I can remember waking to find that Santa had set up an entire campsite with a pitched tent, sleeping bag and gear, and inside was full of other goodies galore! Good ole Santa!3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?I have always favored white- something about the colors and the blinking makes me nauseus.4. Do you hang mistletoe?Every year- well my fiance does. Funny story: last year I was stopped at a red light after Christmas Shopping and a couple of children were selling mistletoe for $5. I bought two and brought them home proudly to show my fiance- only to be told that I was the proud owner of an unidentified twig and leaves.... 5. When do you put your decorations up?As soon as the last bit of turkey is out of the fridge- it's time for the tree! I can still remember my grandmother being so anxious (and eccentric) that we always had a massive tree up FOR Thanksgiving...6. What is your favorite holiday dish:I love my homemade chocolate chip shortbread. It really isn't a "holiday dish" but I seem to get into a baking frenzie around this time of year!7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?As I mentioned, I am one of 5 kids. We range in age as follows: 23, 22, 21, 20, 10 (yes I know that the youngest is too old to believe but we're keeping it going as long as we can- and my sister is expecting so it doesn't look like Santa will be skipping over our house anytime soon)..... every Christmas Eve- after we have opened all the family gifts, we stay up for hours chatting and bonding as a family... and when we can't hold our eyes open anymore- we nodd off- but every year without fail (admittedly even to this day *blush*) someone wakes up around 4 and drags all of us out of bed to see what's under the tree from "Santa"... it must have been terribly awful for my parents- waiting until 2 to sneak the gifts out there, arrange them- and then be woken just as they doze off...8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?I was 3. My parents were teaching me to read. My father thought it would be a great idea to write me a note from Sant[...]

Mail Bag... a little belated

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 11:31:39 PST

If you've stopped by a couple of times today you'll notice that I'm unloading several posts that I have been too busy to get around to. In my attempt at cleaning house around here- I've uncovered a reader question that was unintentionally overlooked. A while back, I posted on long-sleeve wedding gowns worn by the lovely Jackie O (hers was not for a wedding, but was so very bridal worthy)... and was asked where to find a modern alternative....

I enjoy the work of Stuart Parvin. His simplistic silhouettes and sleeves are so very remnicent of the gowns in question, while his larger-than life single appliques keep the gown modern and NOW.

I heart... knits

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 10:55:58 PST

I sort of missed the knitting craze... and I swear that one day I will get around to learning... while at Barnes and Nobles last night I saw this lovely book and was so very inspired by how soft and delicate the knits are. Here in Florida the sun is blazing- and I find myself longing for the winters of my childhood in Maine and Indiana. For now, I'll just dream of Snowbrides and warm nothings.
Etsy, Kate Sullivan, OhJoy

B-C-B-Gorgeous for the Holidays!

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 08:46:14 PST

As a newly-engaged gal, much of your guestlist will be returning the favor... with all these holiday parties... shopping for a dress can be a bit tricky- what with a wedding to plan and everything... I LOVE They have all the dresses that I loathe for in the stores, and at a fraction of the price- AND without the long lines... check out these lovely little numbers from BCBG- all holiday worthy and Oh Happy Approved.

Snapshot: Jason Wallis

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 08:22:59 PST

I don't know how I stumbled over Jason's blog... I just know that once I did- I was so very captivated. I think that I am drawn to photographers that are not promarily "wedding photographers". While I completely agree that not every great photographer can shoot a wedding (there are so many important elements that have to be perfect shots every time)... I find that photographers who are skilled with weddings, but are more focused on their editorial and commercial sides, bring a little something extra to the table. Jason's work has a sense of humor. I love it. Check out this national campaign he recently did... not only are the captions halarious but the photos have such personality as wellAnd look at his portrait work! Lovely and raw... just how I like it... I once read an essay in college that really touched me. It spoke of how we dress up in our sunday's best for formal photo sessions- the pieces of documentation of who we are and what we were- that will forever be the proof of our existance for ages. Mothers wipe their children's mouths and comb their hair... and all the while- 90% of our lives are spent in wrinkled blouses and stained shoes and wind-swept hair and embarasing little crumbs on the corners of our mouths. Who are we kidding? [...]

Welcome Style Me Pretty Readers!

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 07:16:53 PST

Abby over at Style Me Pretty was so very kind to include my little blog in her collection of "reader blogs". Blogs like Style Me Pretty were what inspired me to find a place to collect all of my thoughts and web "snippets" thus it was so very delightful to see that my small contribution is reaching beyond that of myself, my mother, and my newly-engaged sister. So for all of you SMP readers who may have stumbbled upon my neck of the woods...Pull up a seat. Put on a pot of tea and make yourself at home. Today I was browsing around and found this picture:I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! And of course, I immediately began to wonder how I could turn this into an event design. Sure, the stark white could be done by choosing a modern museum and with the help of lovely modern rental companies-- but what makes this so very interesting is the use of the bold patterns. How on earth can this be acheived without wallpapering the venue?!? The answer is to use lazer-cut screens or even fabric panels. These are GREAT to break up a large space and light enough to hang from exposed rafters without fear of structural damage. Here are few of my favorites:This is actually a fabric panel. These are custom made so almost any pattern is possible!This screen is made of plastic and would make such an interesting piece of art after the event! These little numbers are wonderful because of their petite size! You could have fun pairing them in interesting arrangements!A bit more opaque, these are made of recycled materials and would be AMAZING in a large space to add texture and break up the layout!A little more whimsical than modern, these are popping up all over in the retail market. So where to go from here? Allow the patterns to spill over onto the invitations, small details, cake, and even the linen selection. The best part about having an event that is reflective of your design style is that many of the items that you purchase can easily transition into your new home so you won't feel quite as guilty splurging here and there![...]