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...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

cold weather cover-ups for the bride

{via martha stewart}

{via abcd}

{via once wed}

baby it's cold outside...

not quite, but we're getting close to that time of year when the temperature starts dropping and our bare arms need covering!

if it wasn't mid-july and humid on our wedding day, i would have loved to cover up in a cozy cardigan. it is hands down my favorite piece of clothing and my hubs will no doubt attest to this obsession.

some of my go-to spots for cover-ups include, but are certainly not limited to, j.crew, anthropologie, and banana republic. after looking at all of their latest collections, there are several options in my opinion that would look gorgeous over a wedding gown. go on, take a look yourself...

and if a cardigan isn't your thing, a bolero, shawl, capelet or scarf are all beautiful & functional alternatives when it comes to staying warm and still looking gorgeous on your wedding day.

where do you shop for your favorite cardigans?

any other cover-up ideas?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

pin up girl: sexy boudoir photos as a gift for your mate

hold onto your hats readers. today's post is a tad risque.

let's be honest, we know what boys like.

and while some may say it's a heart shaped photo of the two of you, i think we all know they'd much prefer some sexy photos of you in the bedroom. classy sexy photos, of course.

all of the above photos were captured by kristin hudson nichols of haute boudoir & are demure, yet hot, all at the same time.

not that a few saucy photos wouldn't be enough to please your mate, but you could also wow them with an entire pin-up calendar!

so next time you're trying to figure out what to get your future hubs as a wedding gift, think no more. i'm telling you, this. is. it.

please fill us in if you know of any reputable photographers in your area that have the classy boudoir style down.

Friday, September 24, 2010

fairy tale friday: dressing up your flower girls

{via i love you tutu much on etsy}

happy friday, friends!

i don't know about you, but i look for any excuse to dress up. so much so, that there was a point in time when the only photos i would send my parents from my stint out west would include me in a costume.

if the hubs & i had incorporated a flower girl into our ceremony, i would have totally pushed for the tutu. every little girl should own one and wear it as often as possible, especially to a wedding.

here's hoping you all have a dreamy weekend...


p.s. looks like we'll have some gorgeous indian summer weather for all you new england brides tomorrow...woop woop!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

spotlight on amber + nick: real engagement

today i thought it'd be nice to switch it up & showcase a real engagement shoot! braedon over at braedon photography was generous enough to share these amazing photos with us & i think it's safe to say he rocked it. amber & nick are the epitome of that effortlessly cool california style. not only do these pics make me adore this couple, but they have me yearning for a bit of the west coast. enjoy!


check out braedon's blog to stay up on all of his current work!

Monday, September 20, 2010

répondez, s'il vous plaît: RSVP wedding postcards

{via post card}

{via snippet and ink}

if you're looking to save a little change and be a little creative, why not consider a customized rsvp postcard?!

one of the the major upsides is that mailing postcards only costs 28 cents vs. 44 cents for a regular envelope. hey, every penny counts.

it's also a great opportunity to give your invitees a glimpse of the wedding location. you could include a photo or drawing of the site on the front and the requisite "yes i will be attending" or "bummer, can't make it" on the back.

some ceremony & reception locations are large enough that they provide their own postcards (ie: a museum or national park), but if not, you could always design your own postcard using sites like zazzle.

another clever idea is to include state postcards specific to each guest. how cool would it be to get loads of rsvp postcards from all over the country?! i found a couple great spots online to purchase, like here and here.

any other creative postcard ideas? or rsvp ideas in general?

Friday, September 17, 2010

feliz fin de semana! happy weekend, people

{via beauty in everything}

hope you're all enjoying this friday & have some fun plans on tap for the weekend.

no plans?

the above looks fun.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

plus or minus one: determining if your wedding guests receive a +1

{via we heart it}

where does one draw the line?

if your cousin harry gets a date, does that mean you have to give your coworker sally one too?

i've experienced the plus one dilemma from all angles. i've been a guest who's been given a plus one, a guest who's been given a plus one & then had it taken away (ahem, NOT cool), and a bride who's had to decide who gets a plus one.

now that i've been on the deciding end of things, i have more respect for the brides before me who had to decide whether or not i (or the guy i might have been dating at the time) got a date.

so why not give everyone a plus one? well, some people do! but, some couples are limited due to location capacity, budget or some brides and grooms simply don't want to meet someone for the first time on their wedding day.

we had a maximum amount of guests allowed at our location, so we couldn't afford to invite everyone & their mother, let alone give everyone a plus one.

to begin, we decided that all of our bridal party (18 people in total!) would be allowed a guest. personally, i just don't think it's right to ask people to travel across the country for you, attend your rehearsal dinner, be part of your big day (and this is after they participated in your bachelor(ette) parties & showers, bought you gifts & provided support during your engagement), and not let them bring someone along for the ride.

next, we gave plus ones to people that were married (obvi) and people who were in relationships with people we had either met or had heard about from the guest. here's the thing, if you've never mentioned that you're in a relationship, you can't really expect to get a plus one on your invitation.

don't get me wrong, just because we had these "guidelines" doesn't mean everyone was happy. there were instances (less than a handful) when we found out about a boyfriend or girlfriend after the fact. but, i can honestly say that we didn't intentionally not allow someone to bring a person they were seriously involved with.

you win some, you lose some.

oh the fun of it all!

any plus one tips to share?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

spotlight on nicole + eric: real wedding

who's ready for another real wedding? well hold onto your hats people, because we've got one heck of a couple on tap today. nicole & eric will make you smile from the inside out & may even make you cry. if you don't tear up watching them tear up then you should probably check your pulse. these two lovebirds tied the knot at the beautiful elings park in santa barbara, california surrounded by their nearest and dearest. they wanted their wedding day to be personal and fun and i think it's safe to say they totally pulled it off with flying colors. all of their hard work made this wedding truly feel homespun, not to mention, absolutely gorgeous. take a look at the stunning images captured by the talented kia gregory. enjoy!

the beautiful bride before the ceremony

love her hair, love the dress, love these two
from the bride:
by the time eric and i had become engaged, we'd both had the pleasure of attending dozens of weddings, been in more than a few bridal parties, and i, at least, had spent literally hundreds of hours looking at wedding blogs, magazines, and wedding dress websites to the point where i could identify the designer of almost any given dress without a second thought. i would probably deny it if someone said i was one of those girls who dreamed of her wedding day since she was a little girl, but, i'd be lying. i just love weddings. i love how they reflect the personality of the couple, how they symbolize the coming together of two families, and how they present such a great opportunity to party it up with new friends and old. i am also a complete sentimental sap and love a good excuse to cry.

gorgeous spanish tiles at the santa barbara courthouse

stealing a smooch in godric grove

my grandma had passed away in january of the year we got married, so i wanted to honor her memory by having a bouquet that mirrored her own. i sent a picture of her bridal bouquet to joey the florist, told him that i wanted it to include herbs and to be primarily orange and green, and he ran with it. for the bridesmaids i wanted something that was colorful and spring-like.

g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s bouquet & bolero

black & white dresses + colorful bouquets = classy & timeless

happy guy

we knew that we had four main priorities: it needs to feel comfortable, it needs to be fun, it needs to be eco-friendly without it being too "california," and it needs to be outside. so when we found elings park in santa barbara, california, we knew it would be the perfect setting for a beautiful central coast party.

let the water works begin

i love these happy tears

the vision for the day kind of evolved as we went along. for years i'd always pictured myself in a flowing, bohemian gown with flowers in my hair. but after going to endless bridal salons and coming up short, i finally found "the dress." because it was so different from my initial vision, it took a lot of convincing (and my continuing to secretly shop for other dresses even after i bought it) to decide it was the one. i think it was my mom's reaction when she saw it that finally convinced me. i tried it on for her and she gasped, "oh nicole, it's beautiful. it looks like something right out of a renoir painting." and that my friends, was where the artistic vision began.

nicole's extremely talented mother handpainted all of the centerpieces

love this simple, fresh table setting

springy, eco-friendly & a great take home for guests

the black & white renoir theme continues...

even the bench is decorated!

when i told my friend lisa that i wanted there to be triangles, egg shakers, and other percussion instruments at our reception, she looked at me quizzically and said, "like kindergarten?" i looked at her and said, "well, yah i guess. like kindergarten." to be honest the idea of having instruments and streamers came from a lot of different origins - it was a mixture of inside jokes with friends, my desire to have a parade, and eric's and my sheer joy with dancing no matter where we are. in the end it was really fun to have props and things to play with on the dance floor. it engaged guests who didn't want to get up to dance but instead could play an instrument at their table. i loved my own maraca so much that our photographer had to rip it from my hands while she was trying to take romantic sunset photos of eric and me.

i wish i thought of this idea!

these hats were part of the decor, but guests just couldn't resist

knowing i don't like cake much, my bridesmaid lisa had read that a tradition on the east coast was for guests to make cookies that would be served at the wedding and available for people to take home at the end of the day. she offered to coordinate the whole thing, so we had an amazing dessert table that would appeal to any guest's taste. it was so touching that so many of our friends took the time to actually use their mixers and turn on their ovens for us. i was simply overwhelmed with gratitude.

dessert table made with love

who doesn't love cupcakes?

enjoying the moment

gorgeous evening sun

in the end, i can confidently say that our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. i still get choked up when i think about how many people were there to share in such an important moment in our lives. all the arguments, the headaches, the planning, and the stress was completely worth it when i think back on how much fun i had and how meaningful every minute felt to me.

true love

thank you thank you thank you to eric and nicole for sharing your gorgeous california wedding with us. the love you two share is palpable. thanks for giving us a glimpse into your wedding day. much love.

miss nicole had so many things to share, that i figured i'd include more below...

...because i didn't want to have a day-of coordinator (i'd sat through too many weddings where the day-of coordinator was more of a pain than a help), we called upon our fantastic friends to come help set up the day-of. i had, on several occasions beforehand, helped set up a reception or centerpieces for a friends' wedding day and derived a great amount of pride and honor from being able to help. i always thought it was really cool to help set up and then see people admiring the dessert table i'd helped with or the bouquets i'd created. even though we felt a little weird about it at first, eric and i asked our friends to help set up on our wedding day. the amount of gratitude eric and i both feel will never be expressed enough...

...eric used to be a brewer, and his first brewing gig was at the brewhouse in santa barbara. although he has since left the industry, he continues to be a homebrewer and has made some amazing beer recipes. knowing that brewhouse co-owner/brewmaster pete johnson had started allowing engaged couples to make bride's ale using brewhouse equipment, eric and i jumped at the chance to make one of eric's great recipes for use at our wedding, and for pete and eric to brew together again for old time's sake. not only was brewing the beer together a great way to spend a saturday, it was simply wonderful to see our guests truly enjoy something eric is so passionate about. as the night carried on and people drank more & more beer, everyone became passionate about it. it was also insanely cool to go to the brewhouse afterward and see "nicole's bride ale" indicated as one of the beers on tap at the brewery...

...we knew that no matter how the day turned out, it was the opportunity to celebrate with our families and friends. as i said on more than one occasion, "it's ok if things don't work out exactly how you planned. this is going to be the most forgiving audience either of us will ever have..."


dep metals jewelry
bcbg maz azria wedding dress
white house/black market bridesmaid dresses
the brewhouse for beer making
bevmo & costco for wine & beer
engagement ring from lang jewelry