noritake unique wedding favors unique wedding favors
Learn the 4 C's of diamonds at Abazias.

prismera

prismera
Cute, cute, cute earring and necklaces over at Prismera. I'm thinking bridesmaids gifts, shower gifts, or just 'cuz.

patterned bridesmaid's dresses

Tory Burch
While browsing over at the fabulous new blog SocialDesign, I came across a post featuring Knottie "SpringChic", including several gorgeous photos (all just as nice as the one below).

springchic
I couldn't get over how smashing the bridesmaid's looked in their bold, graphic, patterned dresses. It's just so fresh, you know? The above stunners from Tory Burch would totally fit the bill, especially if you were doing sort of retro-mod thing.

french general

french general
French General has great stuff for you (us) DIY types. I was thinking you might be able to write guests names on the mother-of-pearl charms then thread them with string. You could use them as placecards (loop around the stem of each wine glass), or as escort cards (dangle them from the branches of some cherry blossom branches at the entrance to your dining room). OR use the wired pearly leaves to wrap bags of goodies for favors. There are so many great little dealy-bobs to be found, the possibilities are endless.

brides in bright dresses

Packham Spring Dresses
When can we start wearing colored wedding gowns? I only ask because the Jenny Packham dress on the right is my new favorite dress ever, followed closely by the green one, if only for the color.
Seriously, can we start a trend? How about brides in bright colors, and bridesmaids in white? How about EVERYONE at the wedding in white, and then the bride in turquoise? As long as it's all about the bride, right? Am I right? No? The who? Oh. The Groom. Right. It's all about him too, for sure. Of course.

patterned paper lanterns

patterned paper lanterns
For only 9 bucks each, these 14" patterned paper lanterns are such a steal! I might consider hanging 3 or 4 in my kitchen. But I'd consider hanging A LOT more inside say... a wedding tent? Over a buffet table? Over a cake table? Over the head table? Over all the tables? I'm not sure if I would choose just one pattern and go crazy with it or if I would choose a couple patterns and mix and match. Maybe some solid colored and some patterned? I guess it would depend on the rest of your decor. Either way, there's a lot of bang for your buck here.

rebecca taylor

rebecca taylor
Your rehearsal dinner? Bridal shower? Bachelorette party? Can anyone think of a better reason to buy a new dress or two? I love the variety of patterns and silhouettes over at Rebecca Taylor. The white one in the center is SO Audrey. If "pixie" was one of my strong suits, I'd go for it.

zoe chicco

zoechicco
Stumbled across the work of Zoe Chicco in this month's Real Simple magazine. I love the ring on the bottom right as an alternative to a flashy engagement ring (or run-of-the-mill wedding band). Zoe's work with wood and diamonds is also really inspiring. Check her out.

do-in's

hairpins
There's so much happening here! We've got big doin's over at my house! I can't share just yet, I don't want to jinx anything. All I'll say is that we're very busy and that I apologize in advance for any slacking on posts. No, I'm not pregnant and no, we didn't get a french bulldog named "Julia Child". I'll know more after next weekend, and then I will share with the group.
For now, I'll make do with sharing these hairpins I found this weekend. I love the opalescent ones against dark hair, and the black ones (not pictured) in fair hair. They can look either mantilla-esque or more Asian looking, depending on which way you stick them in your 'do and how far you push them in. They're very delicate looking in person. Available here.

sam and dave: the wedding

Sam was sweet enough to take a moment before her honeymoon to write this about her wedding day. It's incredibly sweet, and the readings kind of make me want to cry, in a good "wedding-y" sort of way. I actually did cry, BRIEFLY at the wedding. One solitary tear. It was very lady like. I then continued to get my kleenex all caught up in the zipper of my purse, I made a big mess because I was in such a hurry to "blot". Regardless of my tissue mess, everything was beautiful. I'll let Sam tell you all about it~

On a mild, moody and overcast day last weekend, Dave and I got married. The day was filled with preparation. It was surreal to think that later we would be looking each other in the eyes in front of our friends and family and saying our vows. The evening approached and my dad got more and more tense ordering people in and out of the house. My mom (cool as a cucumber) collected the boutonnieres she and I arranged earlier. Erin took some photographs of me and my grandmother and dog in the yard. We drove to the wedding and I waited in one area while Dave waited in another. I was told he was really nervous. Earlier that day he told me he was having stage fright. I told him to take deep breaths, that it’s not a performance. When the moment came to walk down the aisle I thought I was calm but I could hear and feel my heart thumping in my chest. As I walked down the grassy path the wind rustled the leaves and the grey sky looked beautiful and peaceful. Everything brightened as Roland played the violin I drew nearer to Dave’s big glowing smile. The ceremony was beautiful and our friends did their readings with aplomb. Everything after that flew by as if to take place within a moment. It was spectacularly fun to salsa dance, eat cupcakes, watch the slide show and drink mojitos in the company of everyone I love and everyone my new husband loves. It is difficult to express how moving the whole experience was for us. I hope some of these photos help paint the picture.

The Ceremony
Two of our favorite readings from the ceremony:

"The Blessing of the Hands," revised by Reverend Daniel L. Harris:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of
love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you
promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you
build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you
through the years and, with the slightest touch, will comfort you like
no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your
eyes; tears of sorrow and, as in today, tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands
that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged,
will still be reaching for yours, still be giving you the same
unspoken tenderness with just a touch.


From "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" by Louis de Bernieres:

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then
subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have
to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is
inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the
promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any
fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has
burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those
that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they
find that they are one tree and not two.


Dancing at the reception...

Sam dancing, Sam's parents dancing
The Horah

photos are by Erin Gleeson and chad nicholson
davesam.com has a flickr stream with lots more photos if anyone wants to see more.

wediquette: metal mixer

Every week Xochitl (pronounced so-cheel), our resident wediquette expert and owner of Always a Bridesmaid Wedding Consulting, answers an etiquette question submitted* by one of our readers. So, (without further ado):

Q: My engagement ring is platinum, but I LOVE all the gold jewelry that's in style right now and think it would compliment my dress better than silver jewelry would. Can you mix and match gold and silver and still look put together?--Pamela

A: I BELIEVE in my heart that you CAN successfully mix gold and platinum (my band is also platinum, so occasionally I do it). The key to doing it well is not letting your other jewelry compete with the hand where your bauble sits (and where your wedding band will be). When you're making your grand entrances and exits, the overall picture will be what people notice- so think earrings and/or necklace if you want to bring in some big, grand gold. However, as the day wears on and your guests want to check out the new wedding band paired with your lovely engagement ring, that should be on a hand and ARM alone without any gold pieces competing with it. I'm on the fence about whether a bracelet on your right hand would be distracting- I think it depends on the piece. To play it safe have fun with the gold as long as it's not within 6 inches of your platinum!--Xochitl of Always a Bridesmaid

*If you've got a question for our expert, submit it by clicking "submit your question" in the right hand column, under "wediquette".

kelly spence

kelly spence
I was thrilled to hear from Kelly of Kelly Spence Tiaras about her beautiful collection of customizable hair accessories. Options range from delicate sprays, (like the hairpins above) to intricate pearl and crystal combs. Each piece is made to order so custom requests are welcomed. Kelly Spence is located in the UK, but she'll happily ship across the pond.

PS. Kelly also has really lovely veils.

paper bag flowers

paper bag flowers
I came across these DIY flower decorations via one of my new favorite blogs, Oh Happy Day. Jordan always posts such pretty things, and I couldn't resist passing this idea along. They're actually made from colored paper bags, and can be made with any 6 you happen to have of the same size. Jordan also pointed out that a wonderful source for colored paper bags is Paper Mart, and I happen to agree. The original directions for the paper bag flowers came from Martha Stewart (who else?), so if you want detailed instructions, you must visit Martha. I would totally use these to decorate over the tables at an informal wedding or shower. I might even cut slightly fancier "petals" and make them all in black and white for a more formal affair.

Style Statements

We just got back from Sam and Dave's wedding! Needless to say, Dell and I had a great time, ate great food, and we danced. Samantha was radiant! It was a wonderfully personal, relaxed, yet elegant affair that I will let her tell you all about as soon as she's available. I wouldn't want to steal her thunder by giving away any of the best parts. Plus, I gaurantee she'll have better photos than I will.
So, instead I've prepared something else.
Last month in Domino magazine I came across an article that really intrigued me. The piece was about these two women in Vancouver named Carrie and Danielle who specialize in a kind of personal branding. They offer what's called a "Style Statement" to individuals looking to refine their personal style, just a simple two word phrase that boils your style down to it's essence. For example, Carrie is "Refined Treasure" and Danielle is "Sacred Dramatic". (Click to see an example of some other style statements.) I immediately thought that this could be of great service to brides planning their wedding, so naturally I planned on blogging about it. When I tried, I found I didn't really do the idea justice. Instead of flailing around trying to tell you all about it, I thought I'd let Carrie and Danielle tell you themselves. So last week, I set up an interview. They were so sweet to answer all my questions even though they're booked solid since the article in Domino came out.

Carrie and Danielle

Q: Can you tell us what a Style Statement is?
A: Your Style Statement names your authentic self. It is a compass for designing a life that reflects the true you. From your wisdom to your wardrobe; from your longings to your living room, your business, finances, and the parties you throw -- your Style Statement is where your essence meets your expression.
Your Style Statement helps you make more powerful choices. Confusion costs energy, time and money. Clarity creates ease. With your Style Statement as a grounding rod, you’ll have far fewer “what was I thinking?” moments.

Q: What's the process? How do you retrieve the essence of someone's style?
A: It’s a one-on-one, open conversation. We pose a series of questions, from playful to profound, and we listen...very intently. Clients get to imagine, reflect on, and share what matters most to them. After about an hour, we take a few thoughtful minutes to ourselves, and then we present the client with their Style Statement and its precise definitions. We share the highlights of the session, what went into defining the Style Statement, and explain the 80/20 Style Statement principle. And we look at how Style Statement and our Life Style Map can become a tool for making choices in one’s life.

Q: Can a couple have a single Style Statement? Or just an individual?
A: We’ve found that it’s best for each person to have their own Style Statement, because it’s such a uniquely powerful experience. To be your best self in a relationship, you need to know you are as an individual, and bring that clarity into your partnership. Having a hard time reconciling your partner’s wagon wheel coffee table and with your floral patterned sofa? Or balancing your extrovertedness with your partner’s reclusive nature? You can each create your own Style Statement and combine them into one Style Statement for your relationship and shared space. For example: Cultivated Play meets Classic Earth. Could become Cultivated Earth or Classic Play. You’ll have to negotiate on what matters most to you, find where your common ground is, and what words feel inspiring or comforting to the both of you.

Q: Could a Style Statement be limiting? Do you ever feel trapped by yours?
A: I feel positively liberated by my Style Statement. A single word can distill all that you know to be good, beautiful, and true. Words carry energy. Every word has its own history and momentum. It is the result of cultural enterprise, constructed over ages of time. Look into a word and you will find a world of meaning and possibility. Applied with intention, words are magic formulas. A Style Statement is a tool for focusing, and when you’re focused, your life expands.

Carrie and Danielle

Q: Say I'm happily engaged and I have my Style Statement. Now I'm going shopping for my wedding gown, how do I use it?
A: Your dress should match your Style Statement…are you Sophisticated, Refined, Simplistic, Natural, Genuine...? And your “second word” of your Style Statement, which signifies your creative edge, your “20%” -- could be reflected in your accessories, whether you’re on the traditional or the wild side. Your Style Statement will help you align your aesthetic choices with the true you – and it helps to have a guide when you’ve got so many other opinions flying around about how you “should” design your wedding.

Q: Have you ever come across someone you just couldn't figure out?
A: Nope.

Q: Can a bride on a limited budget justify a Style Statement as part of her wedding expense?
A: Absolutely! This is an investment in your self to achieve inner and outer clarity that will support you to make more powerful choices in every area of your life – from the theme of your wedding and the design of your wedding ring, to how you communicate with your partner and plan your free time. Discovering your Style Statement before you enter into such a powerful passage in your life is especially meaningful.
And here’s a tenet from our Manifesto of Style:
"True style is not dependent on wealth, and wealth does not necessarily create taste."
You can still create a wonderful wedding that is true to you in every way -- on a budget.

chilly jilly

Chilly Jilly
Being someone who is always cold, I think this is the best idea EVAR. Called the "Chilly Jilly", it's small enough to fit in your purse, it's pretty (yet simple) enough to wear anywhere, it's wrinkle free (so as to be scrumpled up in the handbag), yet it's warm (made of ski gear or something). It's like we'll never have to tie a sweater around our waist ever again, which is great because that makes us look hip-y and we know it.
Great gifts for the 'maids.

the vesper dress

vesperdress
Anyone have anything they need to look impossibly elegant for this fall? It's called the "Vesper Dress". How perfect is that? I found it at my new favorite source for indie fashion, Smashing Darling. The designer (The 615 Project) also has something called the "Marilyn Dress" which kind of reminds me of that yellow number Michelle Williams wore last year, 'cept shorter. I like it. I like very much. I have a new thing for yellow.

nirali wedding

Nirali Magazine, Wedding Issue
Nirali magazine (an online publication for South Asian Americans) has just put out their first wedding edition. They have a ton of great content on their website. The features section has a colorful profile of an Indian/Mexican wedding and the "Tips from Real Brides" section is a helpful read, no matter where you're from! Not to mention the eye candy, who can resist all the jewels?

more blue. more white.

Blue and White dishes
So here's where I tell everyone how much I love blue and white dinnerware. Again.
The latest additions to my "Deeply Coveted List" are these serving platters from Gumps. Oh, the sugar bowl. You've gotta see the sugar bowl.

sam and dave: one week to go!

Only one week until Sam and Dave's wedding! As promised Sam is sharing her ketubah with us, along with her last minute thoughts. Here she is:

ketubah

I can’t believe we’re getting married next weekend. I have a surreal feeling of excitement and disbelief. We’ve been talking about this and planning little details for so long that it is difficult to believe that next Saturday I’ll wake up and know that Dave and I will be celebrating our love later that day with everyone we love. Time is accelerating. I can’t slow it down. I’ve never been happier and I want it to last. Dave’s truly my best friend in the world. I feel like we’ve known each other forever. I have so many emotions surrounding this event. I can picture his face as I walk toward him. I can picture my parents dancing happily and all my friends laughing and enjoying themselves. I can see my 91-year-old spirited grandmother dancing with Dave, who she loves as her own grandson. It’s all going to be so overwhelmingly special, I just want to slow time down and enjoy every second. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have the most creative parents in the world who have planned and baked and built and created what I know will be a moving and memorable day for us and them and those who have been in our lives and shared time with us as we’ve grown and as we’ve grown together.