Wednesday Roundup {Invites}

I’m kicking off a new weekly installment I’m going to call “Wednesday Roundup.” In these posts I will spotlight a collection of things that I am currently crushing on in any given category – be it flowers, vacation spots, fashion, travel goods – you get the idea. So here we go with the inaugural Wednesday Roundup!

The weather here in South Florida is heating up to damn near unbearable (especially given the tropical storms we keep getting slammed with), but off in the rest of good ol’ America it’s the start to wedding season! Though it may not be the first step in wedding planning, invitations are the first thing your guests see when it comes to the big day. Here are some invites that tickled my fancy this week:

Romantic

1. Minted 2. Etsy 3. Minted 4. Paper-Source

Modern

1. Swash 2. Jupiter and Juno 3. Hello Lucky 4. Future Mrs. Darcy

Whimsical

1. Minted 2. Wedding Paper Divas 3. Elum 4. Wishing Tree Designs 

Letterpress (because naturally anything this beautiful requires it’s own category!)

1. Jupiter and Juno 2. Hello Lucky 3. Wedding Paper Divas

So there you have it. Lot’s of beautiful paper to drool over. I’ll be back with another round up next week. Thoughts on the new addition?

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To holiday or not to holiday?

A.k.a. The (dreaded?) Valentine’s Day.

First of all, I can’t believe it’s already February! Yikes! With February comes what is essentially the last holiday of holiday season (you know, following Turkey Day and Christmas and New Years) and all that jazz. It’s one of those days that I feel you either love it or you hate it – personally I think i’m on the fence. Either way, I stumbled upon this post about the situation on one of the many blogs I read and I quite liked it. This particular topic (post marriage) is a bit out of my realm but I thought it was worth a share anyway. Listen up boys!

(all text copied from original blog found here, I just wanted to make it easier to find/read)

Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

(written by Katie at Marriage Confessions)

Today we are going to talk about something real. Something serious. Something looming. We are talking Valentines Day. The big V. V-Day, one of the most critical days of the year. One of the few days of the year that lets you sleep in the bed, or on the couch.

(FYI Ladies- This would be the part when you would call your man to come and read…)

There are two types of Valentiners. Ones that absolutely go over the moon for it, and ones that despise it. I happen to be somewhere in between those two. The day does not completely annoy me, however I’m not much for the random holiday thing. I not here to tell you which one you are. That is your business. But I will say regardless of which one you are. This year do something nice for your lady. She deserves it. Here is you guide:

Valentines Day does not have to be all-fancy-like with roses and dinner and makin’ babies. You don’t have to get all dressed up and go dancing. Don’t get me wrong all of that is fantastic and a wonderful evening. But to me, that is not what Valentines Day is about. Valentines Day is like Mother’s Day, without church. It is a time for you to tell your lady that you love her. It is her day. And it can be simple, and it can be romantic, and it can be knock your socks off fun all at the same time. Just be sure to make it your own. Don’t be typical.

You know your significant other better than anyone. Get her something that she really wants. Get her something that makes her feel pretty. Get her something that takes care of her. Get her something that tells her you appreciate everything she does. Get her something to tell her that she is perfect.

I’m sure you get her red flowers EVERY year, right? Well this year change it up. If you always give her red long-stem roses that you got on the side of the road for five dollars, change it up and get her white, pink, and red tulips. If you always give them to her when you come home from work, it will always seem like a last minute thought. Change it up this year and have them waiting in the bathroom for when she wakes up that morning instead. If you always have them in the morning, change it up this year, and send them to her office and surprise her there with flowers. That will make her feel good all day.

If you typically give her chocolates, change it up this year and bring home chocolates, a bottle of wine and make fondue.

If you typically give her jewelry, change it up this year and find a piece of jewelry that is different. It does not have to be diamonds, or anything expensive. Get her something that fits her style, something that when you see it in a store you can picture her wearing it.

If lingerie is in your repertoire each year, this year change it up and get her something different. Regardless of what you may or may not think, women do not want to wear that sexy stuff all the time. This year go for a practical gift like underwear or a nice bra.  It will make your lady feel good about herself everyday she wears it. This year don’t buy something that she will wear once in a blue moon, go practical and get her something she can wear once or twice a week.

Now, do we need to talk about buying underwear and lingerie? Shame on you if you have never bought your lady something nice from Victoria’s Secret. Listen, if you are not man enough to go in there and pick out something nice, then your girl needs to move on. Go in. It’s not scary. It’s not confusing. And most of the time, there are attractive sales women everywhere! Go in there and ask, “What is the most popular bra right now?  I need an everyday bra that my beautiful wife/fiancé/girlfriend/partner will love.” That will not only make you feel good about doing the right thing, but it will also make the attractive sales women give a you a nice smile and then take really good care of you. And in a last resort, if you just can’t bring yourself to do it, then the online store will have to do. Then you can browse as long as you need to.

If you are a dinner and movie at home kinda guy, change it up this year and YOU cook a nice dinner, or order take-out, or pick something up from her favorite restaurant and bring it home. If you like going out to dinner, take her to her favorite spot. Don’t take her to the sports bar, even if she wants to go. Take her somewhere nice. Get her to put on lipstick and a cute dress and go out to dinner and movie. Don’t take her to something dark or intense or scary (unless that turns her on…) take her to something girly and fun, a romantic comedy or something light-hearted.

Lastly, don’t get her something from the neighborhood drug store. Pay attention, man. Put some thought into her this year. It’s not hard. It’s not expensive. But it’s going to take some thought, and maybe some planning. But take the time to do it. Your girl is worth it. And it’s your responsibility to tell her that. Don’t mess it up this year. Surprise her. Make her smile. Make her laugh. Make her cry. Make her happy. Make her feel pretty. Tell her you love her.

So there it is. I’m a fan!

I Think I Wanna Marry You

First things first…I love big gestures, surprises, generally anything that took thought or effort. This applies to almost any situation. It most definitely applies to proposals. I think my obsession love with this idea is also because I happen to think I am personally very difficult to surprise. But I digress….

Today as I was checking my email a sidebar flashed a news story from the Huffington Post about a flash mob proposal at Downtown Disney in Orlando, FL. I thought that sounded pretty cool so I figured I would click over to the page and check it out. Ironically enough, I am not typically a fan of large, in public displays but this proposal I found today had me eating my words.

Jamin arranged a flash mob dance to the tune of Bruno Mars’ “I Think I Wanna Marry You” to surprise his girlfriend of over 5 years. Now I love me some Bruno (best Glee episode ever?) and I can’t help but smile every time I hear that song – but this one put me over the edge. Watching this video… I had chills. And I cried. Like a little girl. Multiple times. Actually I played it three times in a row and clicked around you tube to find other versions of it from onlookers. It was just that good.  I even felt my heart start racing when the footage in the insert showed Jamin getting nervous before he jumped in. I know…I’m crazy…but this was amazing. See for your self:

Any fellas looking to take the next step – take note. This one is a winner. I’m going to go hit play again…one more time can’t hurt right?

To Look or Not to Look…

One of the more popular trends in weddings right now is the “First Look.” Thanks to a friend of mine on Pinterest I found this article with a fantastic take on the situation and I just had to share. Breanna, along with her husband, is a wedding photographer in Arizona who points out numerous reasons why the first look is beneficial for any wedding. Read her whole article here:

The Reveal Moment

For the short version, here is a quick summary of what she had to say (pulled from the article)

“The Lesser Known Benefits of the Reveal Moment:

  1. The first time you see each other in a ceremony happens in the blur of a few seconds. The reveal takes that amazing moment and turns it into it’s own event which makes it more memorable and significant.
  2. You feel more like partners going into this together rather than alone… it is an amazing bonding experience to anticipate the moment together.
  3. Your emotions are more genuine when expressed in private, which is one of the many things about a reveal moment that will make the photos of the first time you see one another turn out better
  4. Your nerves calm down significantly when you see one another, allowing you to enjoy the first half of your wedding day more.
  5. Your schedule is more relaxed which will make your entire wedding day feel more relaxed.
  6. It feels more natural to do family photos before the ceremony because afterwards all you want to do is be together for a few minutes and then go join your party.
  7. You have more time for photos of the two of you alone and with the people you care about (30 min to 1 hr more!).
  8. Cocktail hour is shorter and your guests are happier!
  9. The reveal moment is all about relaxing everyone and making the day more enjoyable.  Every person involved in the wedding will be more chill and have more fun when the reveal moment schedule is used.
  10. Part of the reason our clients hire us is because they trust our experience and you believe we have their best interests at heart… and we fully believe they will be happiest experiencing the benefits of the Reveal Moment Schedule.”

I love Breanna’s point of view and could not agree with her more!!! Oh yea, and did I mention their work is beyond beautiful too? (all images are from their site)

 

Check out their website Radiant Photography for more.

 

 

My Heart Goes Pitter Patter

Today is the day of extraordinary proposals, fitting since “proposal season” has recently wrapped up. (Proposal season in case you’re wondering coincides conveniently with holiday season/beginning of spring,  falling right before wedding season in the summer!)

Style Me Pretty once again delivered a doozy with this graphic letterpress proposal story:

If you do nothing else today PLEASE go check out the full story on their site here. Here’s the essential rundown though – the groom to be surprised the bride with an full suite of letterpressed “clues” inviting her to pack her bags (she had an hour), fly to meet him where he proposed, surprised her with a house, and then together they flew to Rome for a quick vacay. The paper goods in this extravaganza are absolutely stunning!! Makes my designer heart swoon. The actual proposal is so grand it makes me gawk that people with this amount of thoughtfulness and romance still exist! Make me hold on to some hope…. go read it. Now.

 
The second unbelievable proposal of the day is this movie inspired proposal which comes to me courtesy of you tube:
 
 
It seriously is unbelievable the lengths some people go to.  The couple also features the story on their website. This is the first thing I saw upon arriving to work tody and let’s jsut say I started my day off slightly emotional! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Behold…pretty

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the new bridal line from Anthropologie (one of my favorite stores for random home things 🙂 and beautiful clothes of course) and finally – on Valentines no less – it is here! The new line BHLDN, pronounced beholden, is the epitome of what you would expect from a brand like Anthro. A little bit whimsy, a little bit classic, a little be boho chic, it’s beautiful. There is no other word for it. Excect pretty, because I feel prettier just looking at other models in the dresses. Weird I know.

BHLDN also offers bridesmaids dresses, hair fascinators, lingerie, shoes, jewelery – you name it.

I love the detailing and the softness of all the gowns. I also really like they aren’t all your typical white dress. They add a bit of dimension and variety to what is typically available. Want some more eye candy….

I really could go on all day. There isn’t anything about this line that disappoints. Check it out here. Try not to ruin your v-day makeup with the drool. 🙂

They even have a quiz to find out what kind of bride you are and pick one of their dress styles to fit your style best. Just for fun I tested myself. Who am I… neo-sophisticate according to their experts: “something that suits you but not necessarily the ‘typical gown.’ Your dress will be unexpected with structural lines and interesting shape. You’re passionate about entertaining and your wedding will be a reflection of your sensibility, refined and elegant with an acknowledged informality.” I like where this is headed!

I think i’ll make an inspiration board for a wedding designed around one of these lovely gowns … check back tomorrow!

Pinch me am I sleeping?

Because it’s like my dreams are coming alive. Why’s that you ask? Well aside from my extremely quirky (and realistic) dreams as of yet – that’s a story for another time – this following wedding is the epitome of my latest dreams. I have found myself being drawn to the same style of weddings lately – maybe it’s because we just closed up the summer wedding season which is always beautiful, or maybe its a nice swing of trends, or perhaps I’m just getting tunnel vision currently – whatever it is – i’m loving it.

“It” – is a simple style, laid-back but still feminine and glamorous, outdoor weddings. Case in point the event below. The following wedding took place in Manhattan Beach in Southern California. Photography was done by Erin Hearts Court, florals by JL Designs, and once again showcased on my mecca Style Me Pretty.

The couple planned most of the event themselves (with help from their floral designer) and took the event location – The Shade Hotel – as inspiration for the feel of the wedding. I absolutely love the color palette of whites, greens, and grey executed beautifully through the cymbidiums, hydrangeas, tulips, and calla lilies.. I think it is very chic and elegant, but also very natural in feeling (not to mention the pale green is one of my favorite colors – heyo!). The husband did all of the designing of paper goods, website, invites, etc, so it was definitely a DIY wedding – also one of my favorite parts!!

The grey bridesmaid dresses are from JCrew (love!), and look awesome against the green bridesmaids bouquets. Those bouquets by the way – are tied for one of my number one details from this event. Why? Because every bridesmaid carried a bouquet of a different flower. OBSESSED! I especially love the super parrot tulips (the green/white ones in the bridesmaid picture toward the end). They are so unique!

The personalized bouquets are tied with the ceremony decor – specifically the fabric draping on the “ceiling.” This is the second time I have seen this style of treatment and I think it is so beautiful. I can’t look at it enough.

Enough about the details though – how cute are the pictures of the couple?! Laying in the sand, chillin on a vintage beach cruiser – they capture the event so perfectly.

OK, enough swooning. If you want more pictures check out the gallery on Style Me Pretty. I will keep dreaming.

Military Men

In honor of Veterans day Southern Weddings (one of my favorites) posted a proposal story from a military couple that was just the cutest thing ever. Think a dozen men in dress uniform accompanied with a dozen roses and a Washington D.C. scavenger hunt.

Basically the fiance surprised his gf by having one of his military friends deliver a single red rose (in dress uniform of course) to her at their house. This rose then led her to the next rose/military man where she had to complete a task to find the third, so on and so forth until she reached a dozen and her soon to be fiance. You can read the whole story on the link above. To top it all off he had a photographer friend follow her around to catch the whole thing on film! All photos below courtesy of Michelle Cross via Southern Weddings.

Personally I think the physical test were a little much, but the relationship trivia and puzzles are so cute! I also thought this was such a great way to highlight the city their relationship is based in. Swoon.

Petal Cones…You are the bane of my existence…

If I ever get married and some one in my close circle hears me say I want petal cones at my wedding…slap me. Real hard so it leaves a mark.

What are petal cones you ask? Exhibit A:

(source)

Now don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful, and they hold a special place in the wedding world. The after effect can often times be quite exquisite. Exhibit b:

(source)

However, even my art brain couldn’t handle this project. One of our clients at work decided she wanted these in her wedding (which is tomorrow BTW, and she originally ordered 100, thank god she cut that down!). I thought to myself – oh craft paper and ribbon, sounds easy enough.

If ever you should be doing this project, do not, I repeat, do not wait till the day before! Basically, you use an 8×10″ piece of paper, roll it into a cone, staple, tie with ribbon and repeat. I thought I could easily knock out a couple dozen of these in 30 minutes – hour tops. These little cones are decieving to the eye! They are soooo much harder than expected. Every time I thought I got into the groove and had finally gotten the technique down pat, I pretty much failed on the next one and had to teach myself all over again how to do it. I think i finally got it down on cone number 52. 52 out of 60. About halfway through I decided there had to be an easier way to do this and googled instructions. Apparently there is a template to use but I just didn’t have that kind of patience at this moment. All’s well that ends well though, and they looked pretty good. Here is a finished cone:

and the whole box of cones I created ready for tomorrow:

I think this is definitely one of those situations where you forget the pain until you relive it. Like a tattoo. So when I finally do remember how frustrating they are to make, lets just hope it’s months before I actually need them, not 24 hrs!

Why I Love Weddings

I feel like weddings are a touchy subject – you love them or you hate them. They are either a ridiculous party (generally involving a significant amount of booze) or a snooze fest. At times I can be extremely critical of weddings and other significant events – hey I am a planner after all – but when it all comes down to it – I genuinely love weddings. It’s near obsession actually. And probably totally unhealthy.

1.    My secret romantic side craves it (be honest we all have one). Despite the divorce rate in America, weddings are such a happy, beautiful moment between two individuals. Everybody is there for them, to celebrate the union that the bride and groom are entering into and the relationship they share. I love this. Even scrooge can’t help but be moved by the emotion. In some way – I like to look at it as a little event of hope, even if it is only for a short while. If those two can get hitched – why can’t I?

2.     The partier in me loves it (who doesn’t love an excuse for open bar). Let’s be honest – most weddings are a kick ass party. Though I think some couples concentrate too much on the event and not the act (hello – you are getting MARRIED), still it is fun. Besides, if you’re hosting 100+ out of town guests – you are expected to show them a good time, and who doesn’t love a crazy party to break up the monotony of everyday life.

3.    My design side nearly dies (in a good way). As a self-proclaimed “creative” and truthfully a crafting nerd I love weddings. There are soooo many opportunities to add personal touches – paper projects, floral projects, room design; the list goes on and on. In my world it is heaven.

I know the average person does not share these sentiments, and I know I’m a little crazy, but I think deep down – everyone loves a wedding! Agree? Disagree?