Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

We're off to Washington DC to celebrate with family and friends.

Enjoy your holiday!

Sources: Wheat, Kevin Monahan photography via
Elizabeth Anne Designs.
Martha Stewart.
Flowers by
Gloriosa Design via The Little White Book.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ooh, pretty

I think the new Domino has been peeking into our wedding plans:

Beach house news!

I must confess, I have the beach on the brain lately. Why? Well first, that's just my nature. Throw me a bathing suit, a book, and some sunscreen, and I'm set for the day, any day. As it gets colder, I'm fantasizing about something along these lines:

But the other reason I have the beach on the brain? We finally have a beach house rental secured for the wedding weekend! This has been stressing us out for a while now. We needed a place of a certain size, of a certain proximity to our wedding location, of a certain price, and available for the last two weeks in May. Places are filling up quickly, so time was of the essence.

But... ta da! As my fantastic cousin Zoe measured out for me in person (renting houses from web and phone only = eek!), it's only 129 steps from the main parking lot of the wedding hotel. Score! Scenes from the house:

(Click for full-size. Blogger, will you ever be nice to me with image sizes? I guess not.)

This house will sleep some of T's family leading up the wedding and will also be the location of the beach cookout we're having the night before the wedding, where we'll welcome everyone to the Outer Banks. I'm as excited about the beach party as I am about our wedding reception, to be honest. It's going be casual and fun: flip flops, beach games, grills blazing, eastern NC barbecue and shrimp as far as you can see, coolers of beer and jugs of sweet tea, and everyone meeting each other and relaxing before we're all jumbled together in dress-up clothes.

This house is also where the two of us will spend a week relaxing after the wedding. So I suppose it's our honeymoon house, although we don't really think of it that way yet. We decided to stay at the Outer Banks in lieu of a big trip because we're already going to be traveling just to get to our wedding, and as much as we travel in our personal lives anyway, the thought of staying put is really appealing. As much as I love the Outer Banks, there are dozens of little things I've told T about over the years that we've never had the time to do together before. The week after the wedding, we can finally go to Ocracoke Island together, spend one solid day in kayaks, take three-hour beach walks, climb every lighthouse, etc. Also, since my sister/maid of honor's due date is six days after the wedding, we just *might* need to be on call for a speed demon drive to Raleigh at some point. Here comes Aunt Maggie!

Next year when it's getting cold and I'm fantasizing about tropical beaches like I am today, maybe we can get our fix then and jet off someplace amazing. But for next May? I'm perfectly content with our Outer Banks Beach Honeymoon. It is, after all, my very favorite place. Getting this rental out of the way is such a biggie. And... exhale.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My holiday challenge

Today I had the most fun ordering letterpressed holiday cards to mail to family and friends. I think a lot of us are going smaller than usual this holiday season, and it hit me: I'd really like to give as many handmade gifts as I can this year. I've already done some of my shopping - and have a few things on my to-buy list that are not handmade - but I'm going to do my best to support small shops and artists this year. I'll tally up my goodies and report back after the holidays and let you all know how I did.

To etsy!

Inspiration: Pennants and Bunting

So we all remember the original wedding inspiration: the campaign button. Now that we're on the electoral track, I've been loving creative pennants and bunting, particularly because of the vintage feel they can add. Keeping in mind that we're steering clear of an overly stars-and-stripes look, imagine the possibilities:

: Adventino, American Flag Factory, Linda & Harriet

Bottom: Peach & Pearl, Not on the High Street, Mad Molly

Bonus: A DIY Pennant Banner for this wedding. A twist: using postcards.

Pennant and Bunting inspiration goes hand-in-hand with Mexican-inspired decor, using traditional paper cutouts. I love this look for its folk appeal and its festivity.

All images from the Lee Carter Company (your Mexican bunting mecca!) with the exception of the middle photographs, courtesy of Ritzy Bee.

I think we can combine both of these looks nicely, don't you?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Six months!

Today is exactly six months until our wedding. Whoa. All weekend my mom kept saying it'll be here before we know it. I hope not, because there's a lot to do. Time for a check-in. What's been done? What's left? The scorecard:


To Do:
  • Reception menu
  • Engagement photos
  • Event rentals
  • Reception decor/table design
  • Finalize/print invitations
  • Programs/escort cards/etc.
  • Write ceremony
  • Ceremony music
  • DJ guidelines/play/do not play
  • Welcome bags/favors
  • Groomsmen attire
  • Tailoring groom's suit
  • Beach party catering/decor
  • Bridal party hair/makeup/accessories
  • Wedding weekend detailed itinerary

"Six months" image courtesy of Wordle.

Friday, November 21, 2008

June 12, 1976

It's my mom's birthday today, and she and my dad are flying down to spend her birthday weekend with us. In honor of my mom's birthday - and my parents, still happy 32 years later! - I offer some '70s goodness to the blogosphere.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Folk Art love

I've long been an admirer of folk art (thanks, Mom!), particularly from the American South and Mexico. Some folk art inspiration (half of it letterpressed, sigh...) that's caught my eye online lately:

Letterpressed Holiday Cards from byvikINK.

Home Decor from Wisteria.

Folk art-inspired wedding gems, you ask? Here you go:

Clockwise from left: Anna+Nathan cake at Brooklyn Bride. Mexican-inspired invitation by Ceci New York. Te Quiero (I just swoon over this one) by Black Pearl Press. Yellow and Gray designed by Thoughtful Day for her own wedding, via Oh So Beautiful Paper.

For the love of packaging

I adore creative ways to package invitations, so that when guests receive the invitation, it's like opening a little present. Plus, doing interesting things with your packaging provides more of an opportunity to personalize. Two of my favorites:

Believe it or not, DIY via Style Me Pretty!

I love the use of the doily and the raffia. Nice textural juxtaposition.

Lovely folder and homey ribbon (this suite also has my favorite Weekend Itinerary card) via Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best baby announcement EVER

Continuing my font and design day... check out this fantastic baby announcement created by Miss Pickles Press.

The mistress of MPP had a creative, personal fall wedding with flowers and colors so lush - and paper goods so homey - that I wish I'd been there. Plus: a bluegrass band! Sigh...

For the love of fonts

I must confess, while I appreciate formal calligraphy and engraved cursive for other folks, that look is not me at all. Traditional calligraphy makes me feel formal and Bride-y, which I dislike, and it sets off my f-word's "too girly" alarms immediately. All that said, I do love interesting fonts and typography. From modern to old-fashioned, from clean to whimsical... just not overly flourished and ultra-serious. Some of our favorite fonts:

Row One: Dauphine Press and Hello!Lucky
Row Two: Pica Press and Cheree Berry

Row Three: Pica Press and 3 Lambs Graphics
Row Four: Satoko Furuta and ABCD Designs

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not My Dress: J. Crew

I admit to being the rare wedding blogger who doesn't swoon over J. Crew wedding gowns. Until now.

In our latest installment of Not My Dress: The J.Crew Feather Chiffon Gown.

The softness of the chiffon combined with the nearly architectural ruffles?!

Yes. Please.

For the love of color + pattern

So now that you know about my 20-page opus, see how easy it is to find new inspiration all the time?!

(click for larger... anyone know how to stop Blogger from shrinking images so much?)

I came across this just this morning on Southern Weddings and love the bold peacock colors, complementary patterns, and patterned borders. But oh well, 20 pages turned in, pencils down!

Pattern + Color are the key elements of our invitation inspiration. We very much want to incorporate complementary patterns into the wedding: seersucker stripes, polka dotted accents, non-flowery florals, touches of folk art, etc. I love Central Asian suzanis, and to me, this one became a model pattern - it uses the perfect colors, the pinwheel designs are whimsical and fun, and it suggests flowers without being stuffy or girly.

Effective uses of complementary pattern and color throughout an invitation suite:

Left: East Six: Jamie and Chad.

Milkmaid Press: Mandarin.

We also love use of pattern as a border on an invitation, often seen in full on the back. These two do that brilliantly:

Top Left:
Wiley Valentine: Island Fete. Top Right: I can't find it anymore! Anyone know?

Save the Dates Brooklyn Bride-style

Fun! Our Save the Dates are featured over on Brooklyn Bride today! Go see.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Invitation inspiration

As ABCD works away on our invitations, I offer an embarrassing story. Amy has her clients answer a simple questionnaire to describe the kind of invitations they envision. I take questionnaires seriously. And thanks to the wide world of wedding blogs (!), there are countless images to provoke, inspire, and shamelessly steal. (Kidding on that last one.) So I answered Amy's questionnaire seriously, attaching images and providing links when asked. The total? 20 pages.

Amy's usual questionnaire length, she later told me? Four pages. Max.

I am shameless. A ridiculous over-achiever. Might as well go and get another degree.

But now that pencils are down, why not share some of the images we like here, too? I have, um, 20 pages worth, so there's plenty to go around.

First up: the inspiration for our "story," which will be cleverly featured in a creative way.

(click to enlarge)

Believe it or not, I found this image (via Cakes and Dreams) after turning in the questionnaire. That's right: 20 pages was not enough! But it was so inspiring - and such a creative jumpstart to a fun idea - that I sent it to Amy immediately and she ran with it. She's great that way.

What do you think? Any guesses what our story says?

(By the way, for anyone playing catchup: ABCD and I originally connected because I won a Southern Weddings contest for Amy to create a custom logo and rubber stamp. But one thing led to another during our discussions, and the project expanded a bit. ;-) Careful what you enter!)

So that happened

Having "one of those days." "Case of the Mondays." "Woke up on the wrong side of the bed."

[Insert any annoying phrase "in unnecessary quotation marks" here.]

Fruits of the weekend:

On the bright side, maybe my hideous burn makes my ring look even prettier by comparison?

And while I'm at it... I'm a pretty good cook and love whipping things up in the kitchen. So if I'm going to burn myself, let's make it happen while I'm accomplishing culinary grandeur over a flaming stovetop, okay?

NOT while reaching into the toaster oven to retrieve an English Muffin.

Friday, November 14, 2008


From Zofia Photography.

Fab find

I've been an etsy fiend lately. On that note, I'm not sure how exactly I will use brookerpie's Red Paper Lace, but I'm pretty sure I need it.


Please keep the ideas and advice coming on my "Tulle Petticoat" project (thanks ABCD!). I'm loving the feedback via comments and e-mails so far.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bridesmaid dresses... and looking for DIY advice

We have a bridesmaid dress decision!

After playing around with different girls in different styles, it turns out that everyone loved the same dress: the J.Crew Lydia in Atlantic Blue.

Rich cotton fabric + a great blue + a beachy halter neckline + a full, girly skirt + the perfect length + POCKETS! = YAY.

So who's going to be wearing these dresses, you ask? Why, my sister Lisa, my friend Heather, and Trevor's sisters Morgan and Avery. A small, cozy wedding party.

But wait, there's more!

We're considering an embellishment project for the dress, and I'd love some advice. Get a load of the bridesmaids in yellow, an image I found months ago via The Bride's Cafe. How adorable are those white tulle hemlines peeking out of the dress?! So festive, fun, and retro!

Turns out the dresses are made by Alvina Valenta, but they wouldn't work for us for a few different reasons. Our plan: to recreate these hemlines ourselves. Can it be done?

The options:
  • Making the tulle hemline (we really need a better word for this) and attaching it directly to the bridesmaid dresses. Since one of my favorite things about these dresses is how re-wearable they are, I wouldn't want to permanently alter them. Could something like velcro tape be the answer, allowing the tulle hemline to be peeled right off? That would leave everyone with exactly what they started with - a great blue dress - but have added something extra for the wedding.

  • Attaching the hemline to a slip of some kind that they would simply wear under the dress. This would be the easiest plan in terms of protecting the dress, but I feel like finding the right slip could be challenging. They'd need to feel right under the dress and move with the dress - so no clingy materials - and hit everyone at the right length to correspond with the dress (there's probably 5 inches height difference between the girls). Am I really talking about some sort of "petticoat?" (Isn't there a more modern term for that, by the way?) Whatever it is, it couldn't be heavy or hot - this is a beach wedding, after all! Which leads me to think the detachable hemline really might be the best way to go. (Although there is Your Slip is Showing... but $180?)

  • Bonus idea: What about small blue dots on the tulle hemlines?! (To complete your visualization: they will wear red shoes, of course!)

  • Any thoughts or brilliant ideas for us?

Does it get any hotter than this??

Mi Belle Inc. Wedding Photography


Southern Weddings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not My Dress: Melissa Sweet

So we know that I've found my dress, but I'm not 'fessing up here until juuuust before the big day (or maybe, if I can't help myself, during fittings). In the meantime, why not celebrate the loads of gorgeous dresses that aren't mine?

Our first installment of the "Not My Dress" series comes from Melissa Sweet. Looove her! (And somehow, never managed to try on a single gown of hers.) On to the oohing and aahing...

Not My Dress, but oh so gorgeous:

Top Left
: The Felice. I adore the ruffles and the buttons and how quirky this one is, while undoubtedly being a wedding gown. Do I need more structure than this up top? Yes... but that's okay, since this is Not My Dress!

Top Right: The Bronwin. Oh my, to walk out in something short and sassy and full? Legs for miles, fantastic shoes, all balanced with a huge grin? I love the idea of a short dress, and this one is exactly what a short dress should be.

Left: The Dora. Oh, the romance! The sweeping fabric! The soft layers floating in the ocean breeze! It's beautiful. Can someone else wear this one and send me photos?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I love this image created by Dan Funderburgh, courtesy of Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Signature cocktails

I love the idea of offering signature cocktails at a wedding. But I also think if you go there, you should really go there. Vodka sodas can't be your signature cocktail, for example. It should be something fun and unique and, well, signature. Which brings me to my current favorite drink in Dallas...

The Pepper Smash at Victor Tango's. Now this is a signature drink.

Ingredients: Red bell pepper, local mint, Aviation New Western-Style Dry Gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, House-made clover honey syrup.

YUM. Now granted, I love gin, but two of my girlfriends who aren't gin fans tried this drink and loved it, too. It's a drink that would be talked about, certainly. And it has a great splash of red!

My other favorite drink in Dallas is a safer gin choice, and absolutely delicious on a summer day. Right across the street at The Porch, I always order the Tangerine Rickey. For an orange and green wedding (I love that color palette), how fresh would this drink be?

Ingredients: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, Orange bitters, Halved tangerines, and soda.

What if there were his and hers signature cocktails? In our case, hers is a gin cocktail, of course. His? If vodka sodas are out (and they are - way too boring), the next choice would probably be something Scotch or whiskey-related. A classic Old-Fashioned, maybe? Victor Tango's also has a fantastic whiskey cocktail using the same house-made clover honey syrup as the Pepper Smash (note to VT's: no website? REALLY?).

More fun:

: You all know how I feel about mint juleps. Second: Tropical loveliness via Elizabeth Anne Designs. Third: I don't know what these are, but I want one. Via Style Me Pretty. Fourth: A twist on a classic: the green tea mint julep. Via The Bride's Cafe.

Now that I think about it, you know which cocktail would match our wedding the best? Anything featuring berries.

  • Champagne with floating berries?

  • Berry martinis?

  • Some kind of berry/gin deliciousness?