there were two things i was certain of when i got engaged
the guy i was going to marry
and that there would be mason jars at my wedding
lots of them
everything else seemed to fall into place
around all the mason jars of course
...and then came baby...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

an ode to the covered bridge: unique wedding location

{via ingrid damiani for the times-union}

{via miller + miller photography}

hat tip to my bro for sending this link my way yesterday. it was a summary about a special he had seen on covered bridges the night prior. let's just move past the fact that he was watching a special on covered bridges and focus on the fact that it's a beautiful, timeless & unique locale for a wedding!

i'm a sentimental gal who swoons at the sight of a covered bridge. there is so much history in those wooden beams. history, gotta love it. there's also something so enchanting about stumbling upon one of these structures. almost, magical. i also happen to be a sucker for rivers, so combine the two & it's pretty much a done deal for me.

wouldn't this be a magical spot to tie the knot?

Monday, August 30, 2010

more unique save-the-dates

last week i featured this ridiculously creative & adorable save-the-date video. this week i thought i'd include a few more unique save-the-date ideas for you future brides looking for something outside the box.

{paper planes via martha stewart}

{via melangerie nyc}

{ribbon reminder via martha stewart}

{save-the-date handkerchiefs via lucky luxe couture}

secrets don't make friends people. please share any creative save-the-dates you may have encountered. don't be shy...

Friday, August 27, 2010

you are the best part of my day: sweet chalkboard love note

{leo patrone photography via snippet & ink}

happy friday : )

doesn't this lil' love note melt your heart?
it melts mine.

speaking of lil' notes...i walked into a public restroom today & there was a note on the mirror that read "you are beautiful."

isn't that beautiful?

spread some love today. check out operation beautiful.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

true love is a big deal: creative save-the-date video

you need to go here right now to view the most adorable & creative save-the-date.

in addition, you should check out all of this couple's wedding photos on once wed. they're fantastic!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

spotlight on abbie + doug: real wedding

brace yourself friends. we have a stunning real wedding to share with you, loaded with love & amazing details. abbie & doug exchanged vows and partied the night away at the swanky westchester country club last september. it was impossible to find a photo where the two of them weren't smiling. their love for each other is so genuine & their happiness is contagious. these amazing photos were captured & provided by the talented
bruce plotkin. enjoy!

from the bride:
i can’t say that i was the bride that had been dreaming of her wedding day since she was a little girl…… but when doug popped the question at grand central station on march 22, 2008 i was suddenly immersed into full wedding planning mode!

the pretty bride...i love those waves

i have to say one of my favorite moments in wedding planning was dress shopping! how could i not go to kleinfelds and check out all this "say yes to the dress" business?! i had brought a few pictures and had an idea of what i was looking for. when the sales consultant asked me to describe what i wanted the only adjective i could think of was “show stopping”! when i put on the lazaro dress i ended up purchasing, i knew it was the one! it fit my body type perfectly and i just lit up when i put it on!

first glimpse before the vows

check out the eye-catching, yet subtle, beading

the happy couple just before tying the knot

this bouquet makes me drool
besides marrying my best friend and having all our family and friends there to celebrate, the other two most important things to us were the reception location and the band! i wanted a place that exuded elegance and class. when we walked into the westchester country club in rye, ny, i turned to my parents and doug and said…. "this is where we are getting married." i fell in love with it the moment we pulled up. it reminded me of a french chateau on the countryside. my dad told me not to get ahead of myself. we hadn’t even met with the people there and had no idea of pricing or what was included, but i had already started envisioning the day in my head here and there was no turning back!

ready to walk down the aisle

see what i mean? they can't stop smiling...

sealed with a kiss!

he is from the city of brotherly love

the bride & her beautiful ladies

after the band and location came the photographer, the florist, the invitations and the dress! i had met bruce plotkin in 2005 when he photographed my best friend and matron of honor, jaime’s, wedding. his photographs were simply incredible and there really was no question that he was our man! he caught all the special moments from the day and you didn’t even know he was there! pictures are the memories you have from the wedding and i feel so fortunate to have had him photograph our wedding.

the exquisite westchester country club

cute AND fancy place card holders

you'll want to steal this idea!
postcards replaced the guestbook & were sent to the bride & groom after the big day

delectable chocolate covered cranberries from nantucket,
packaged in personalized bags as favors

we worked with ali barone from diana gould florist who did a breath-taking job with all the flowers! when i walked in the room for the first time after it was all set up i had a huge smile on my face. this was exactly what i had envisioned!

pretty pretty centerpiece

the groom's cake! apparently not a yankees fan : )

the wedding cake...just a tad fancier than the groom's

i really want to know what he's laughing about...

for those of you who don’t know my husband, he is a phenomenal dancer (i’m not half bad myself). we wanted a band that would get the party started and keep everyone dancing all night long and that was exactly what we got! the jay prince band exceeded our expectations. the band played the best combination of music, from lady gaga to all the great michael jackson hits. they had something for everyone. one highlight from the night was when doug and i were lifted onto a few of the groomsmen’s shoulders, i remember looking down and seeing what a blast everyone was having & could not have been happier.

here come the moves

good ol' fashioned shoulder dance

sweet, true lovethanks to the these lovebirds for sharing their day!

looking back on our wedding day and seeing all of our hard work and planning come to fruition puts a smile on my face! not only did i marry the most wonderful guy… we had a pretty damn good party that i hope our family and friends enjoyed as much as we did!


location: westchester country club rye, ny
photographer: bruce plotkin
florist: ali barone from diana gould florist
dress: lazarokleinfelds
invitations: east six
hair: giulia heiman
bridesmaid dresses: melissa sweet from bella bridesmaid in westport, ct
engagement and wedding rings: fischer diamonds
minister: jim covington (unitarian minister)
rehearsal dinner: c.v. rich mansion in white plains, ny
accommodations: hilton rye town
videographer: best of times productions

please don't be shy about getting in on the real wedding fun!!

whether you're a photographer, wedding planner, bride or groom, send us photos from your big day (or your client's big day) to be featured in one of our weekly spotlights!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

tune in tomorrow for another real wedding spotlight: abbie + doug

look at that gorgeous bouquet! so so so much more to come tomorrow...

calm after the storm: wedding stress

dear atmj readers,

i feel it would be unfair for me to pretend that i absolutely loved every minute of our 13 month engagement. in fact, there might have been a few meltdowns. maybe more like one dramatic meltdown, surrounded by a handful of smaller breakdowns. let's put it this way, it is much easier for me to write about wedding planning from the wedding-out-of-the-way standpoint.

our biggest stressors were the amount of dough it cost to throw a party for 175 people, who those lucky 175 would be & that we were only allowed 175 people.

a few friends of ours are getting married this year and have come to us asking things like, "how do you kindly tell your parents to bug off?" or "how can the caterer charge that much for pigs in a blanket?" the hubs & i usually exchange a "thank god that's behind us" look and then console our dear friends.

the hubs sometimes goofs with me for starting a wedding blog, considering at one point in my life i cursed all things wedding. but the funny thing is, somehow i've managed to mostly remember the good stuff...dress shopping with my mom, my san francisco bachelorette bash, signing our marriage certificate at the tiny little town hall...

don't get me wrong, i never want to deal with a guest list again. other than that, the other stuff was just that, stuff. in the moment, some of it felt heavy & unnecessary, but at the end of the day, the wedding and celebration with family & friends was worth it. 100%.

so to all you future brides out there, your wedding experience is what you make of it. i don't know many brides that will tell you the entire planning process was a walk in the park. there are highs & lows.

but for crying out loud, remember what it's about. you found someone you actually want to spend the rest of your life with and someone wants to spend the rest of their life with you, dramatic outbursts & all!

so trudge forward, laugh off the "disasters" & enjoy as many moments as possible.

and remember, it's a wedding, not open heart surgery.

much love,

a thousand mason jars...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

show some skin: short wedding dresses

{via ruffled blog}

{via snippet & ink}

{via elizabeth anne designs}

{via blue orchid & designed by sarah seven}

{via style amor}

i love the short wedding dress.

not only is it a great way to flaunt those toned legs you've been busting your butt to achieve, but it's the perfect time to showcase those fancy shoes you may or may not have spent a small fortune on. not to mention, the shorter hemline compliments us vertically challenged ladies so well.

i went with a floor-length wedding dress as i felt i would only have so many opportunities to rock one. i mean, the last time i sported a floor-length dress was at my senior prom. 'nuff said.

if you're afraid showing your knees during the ceremony is too risqué, you could always do a quick outfit change just before the reception into a shorter gown. you'll want all your guests to see your fancy footwork on the dancefloor.

know of any good designers churning out short wedding dresses?

Friday, August 20, 2010

eat, drink, sleep, REPEAT

{via we heart it}

happy friday to all you hard working people.
you've earned this weekend, so go own it!
no plans for us & absolutely L-O-V-I-N-G it : )

Thursday, August 19, 2010

mr. & mrs. making bank: depositing checks after the wedding day

{via dearjes on etsy}

{via phings on etsy}
{via little wee shop on etsy}

{via beach house living on etsy}

it's the day after your wedding, it was a huge success & you just said goodbye to all your friends & family.

now's your chance to get your hands on all those envelopes!

i was so overwhelmed & surprised by how generous people were. while we did receive a great amount of registry gifts, most people went the check route, which neither my hubs nor i complained about.

here was the tricky part. almost all of our guests made the checks out to mr. & mrs., but our bank only knew me by my maiden name.

we had opened a joint account prior to the wedding, but we couldn't change my name on the account until we had our marriage license. we ended up having to wait until we got back from our honeymoon, but wished we could have deposited sooner. it was less about us wanting the extra spending dough & more about our generous family & friends. don't you hate when you write a check & a person waits six and a half months to deposit?! it throws off your whole balance & if you're anything like me, you haven't balanced a checkbook since 2002. thank you electronic banking!

every bank & state has different rules, but here are a few helpful tips to get you started:

* talk to your mate & find out whether a joint account is right for you

* contact your bank before the big day to find out exactly what they require

* set aside time (about a half hour) to visit your bank together

* come prepared with your marriage license! (saturday mornings, early, are less crowded)

* deposit your checks like it's going out of style

any banking tips to share with future married couples?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

spotlight on dana + mark: real wedding

welcome to the debut of our real wedding feature!

a huge thank you to our friends at
snap! photography for sharing these fantastic shots of dana & mark's wedding in newport, rhode island. these two lovebirds exude fun, love and happiness and there's absolutely no denying it in these photos. you'll smile & maybe even tear up when you read some of the bride's own words. enjoy!

from the bride:
we were married on june 19, 2010 at our alma mater, salve regina university. it was important for us to be married where we met in newport, rhode island 7 years ago and share this place with our family and friends. we had wanted a catholic ceremony and a reception with a view, so we were married at salve's, our lady of mercy chapel, and the historic mansion, astors' beechwood on the cliff walk, was where we decided to host our reception.

calm, composed & ready to seal the deal!

the groom all set to say his "i do's"

the bride & her brother share a moment before the ceremony

absolutely love this photo. so wonderful that it was caught on film!

the weekend was filled with much love, happiness and tears. happy tears for sure, especially when thinking of my father who had passed away when I was 15 years old. i always knew it would be an emotional weekend, but it started off with an amazing sign from my father. the morning mark and i left for newport, we BOTH knew he was with us. mark had picked up a rental car, a red ford escape. my father had owned a ford dealership and always had red cars, red boats and a red motorcycle, so we knew that was the beginning, but when we saw the license plate, that really hit home. the NY license plate read, FAE 6193. my father's name was frederick albert emmerich and his initials were FAE. the 619 was our wedding date, june 19th. the 3, well we think it meant that he would always be by our sides. pretty amazing way to kick off the wedding weekend for sure.

i don't know about you, but that story just melts my heart. beyond special.

dana & mark light a candle in memory of her father

they did it!

the bride, groom & their crew

blue sky, blue sea

ready to get the party started. my kind of people.


time to get down

this room is simply amazing.

instead of a groom's cake, i requested to have a RI favorite, dells lemonade, be served at the wedding for mark. the first summer mark and i were dating, we were at the beach in newport one afternoon and mark decided to go get me a delicious frozen lemonade, on the other side of the beach. after 30 minutes, he returned with a melted iced lemonade. it was a sweet gesture and something to this day we still laugh & talk about. we had a dell's cart and made lemonade vodka our special cocktail. mark was definitely excited about it, he drank them all night long.

gorgeousimo cake

animal house to the max

the stunning astors' beechwood on the cliff walk in newport, ri

i love this last shot. they're married and completely over the moon.
the best part of the day was finally seeing each other and becoming husband and wife. after 7 years, we were ready to make it official and start our lives together as a married couple.

thanks a million to dana & mark for sharing their story & gorgeous photos.

go to the snap! happy blog for more shots from dana & mark's big day.


raina dawn dieterle from raina dawn events
paul at broadway florists of newport
monique llhulier dress & veil from kleinfeld

please don't be shy about getting in on the real wedding fun!!

whether you're a photographer, wedding planner, bride or groom, send us photos from your big day (or your client's big day) to be featured in one of our weekly spotlights!